June 20, 2016

Amanya Mushega calls for Independence of the electoral commission

Amanya Mushega calls for Independence of the electoral commission

 

By Blanshe Musinguzi

 

Chairman of the National Consultative Forum for Political Parties Amanya Mushega has called for the review of constitution to allow an independent body to appoint Electoral Commission officials as a way of ensuring independence of the electoral body.

Speaking at the National Consultative Forum for Political Parties held in Gulu over the weekend, Mushega emphasised that independence of the commission is vital for free and fair elections.

“We should relook at the independence of the electoral commission…we want to put in place a system that vets and appoints people who are seen by many as being credible so that tomorrow when they fail, we are all responsible,” he said.

Adding; “as long as you have an incumbent running for president determined stay, it is nearly impossible to have free elections.”

According to the current arrangement, the Electoral Commission (EC) is appointed by the President and approved by Parliament.

Article 60 of the Constitution provides that, “There shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consist of a chairperson, a deputy chairperson and five other members appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament”

The EC is also supposed to be independent as provided for under Article 62 of the Constitution.

The Article states that, “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Commission shall be independent and shall, in the performance of its functions, not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.”

However, the commission has been criticized for bending rules in favour of president Museveni and the ruling party.

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