The chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Byabakama, has said Parliament’s delay to pass electoral reforms may have an impact on the 2021 elections.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ workshop in Mbarara on Friday, Justice Byabakama said the proposed electoral reforms, which are now before Parliament’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny, may affect the electoral road map, which they have already put in place.
“When these reforms are passed, they might come with touching and critical budget issues but we have already drawn the budget, road map and work plan,” he said.
He further said the reforms will affect their planning but added that he doesn’t want to speculate about the changes.
“I don’t know what kind of reforms parliament will pass…the downside of it is that if these laws have a major impact on the roadmap, the question will be-how EC cope with this development; Do we have time to go back to redraw the road map? Do we have resources to repeat what we have already undertaken or carried out on ground?” Justice Byabakama said.
He urged the responsible stakeholders to ensure that if there are going to be any reforms in electoral laws, it should be as soon as possible so that EC is able to co-opt them in planning and budgeting.
Justice Byabakama further said that EC will conduct verification of national voters register at village level, a move he said will ensure more credible voters register and reduce endless complaints of ineligible voters they have always encountered.
He said the locals will be able to identify the dead and those who relocated from the area.
Previously verification has been taking place at parish level.