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MPs To Hold Regional Consultations On Electoral Reforms

MPs on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee are set to tour the country to get citizen’s views about the proposed electoral reforms bills.

The five Bills, which have drawn public backlash, were tabled before Parliament last Thursday.

The chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Mr Jacob Oboth-Oboth, explained that they will take two days to scrutinize the Bills and then set off for regional consultations.

On Tuesday, government said the electoral reforms week have been misrepresented and that the public discourse on the presumed salient issues are inaccurate.

Mr Oboth-Oboth explained for the public to understand the Bills, they will split the committee into four groups and dispatch them to major regional areas for consultations to avoid being bombarded with complaints of ignoring the citizenry.

He said the committee will also give chance to people who say the proposed reforms don’t reflect the Supreme Court recommendations to speak to the bill.

Last week, Government tabled five electoral reform bills including the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill No.17, 2019, the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill No.18, 2019, Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill No. 19, 2019, the Political Parties and Organization (Amendment) Bill No. 20, 2019 and the Local Governments (Amendment) Bill No.21, 2019.

Recommendations by the Supreme Court in presidential election petition filed by former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi, seeking to nullify President Museveni’s re-election, have  also been integrated in clauses 1, 7 and 13 of the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and in clause 2 of the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

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The proposals, among other things, vary the period for filing presidential election petitions, the period of the Supreme Court to determine it and provides for use of technology in election process and results transmission.

Section 7 of the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend Section 24 of the principal Act to slap Shs10m fine one a state-owned media house that fails to provide equal coverage to presidential candidates and Shs480,000 fine or one-year imprisonment on an official of a state-owned media house convicted for breaching the provision.

 

 

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