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Electoral Reforms Bill Seeks to Ban Foreign Funding for Candidates

After a long wait, Attorney General William Byaruhanga tabled Before Parliament proposed changes to electoral laws.

These changes were contained in four bills – Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, Political Parties and Organization (Amendment) Bill and Local Governments (Amendment) Bill.

One of the areas likely to generate debate is the aspect of campaign financing which in particular the Parliamentary Elections Bill number 18, 2019 seeks to address.

Under section 10B (1), candidates vying for office are required to declare to the electoral body the source of his campaign finances within 14 days of nomination.

If further prohibits potential candidates from seeking or employing financial assistance drawn from foreign governments, institutions, body or person deemed hostile to the Ugandan government.

Section 10 B (2) also prohibits candidates sourcing or employing resources from those that have shown desire of overthrowing the current government or compromising Uganda’s security.

In the same vein, funding derived from groups gazzeted as terrorist organizations under Uganda’s Anti- Terrorism Act of 2002 will be prohibited.

Most Ugandan opposition political parties obtain funding from foreign entities.

Under Section 10B (3), those who receive foreign funding backing shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years or a fine of 2.4 million shillings.

Upon conviction, money illegally amassed shall be forfeited to the state by order of court.

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