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Gov’t, European Union delegation meet over electoral reforms

FILE PHOTO: Electoral reforms

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The European Union is leading a discussion to review the status and implementation of Uganda’s electoral reforms. The discussion started with a meeting held last night between development partners and government officials in Kampala.

The meeting held at the EU Ambasodors residence in Kololo last night was led by the EU Head of Delegation Attilio Pacifici, and attended by representatives from EU partner states, the United States Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac and Officials from the Judiciary, led by the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Justice Minister Otafire Kahinda, and Attorney General William Byaruhanga.

The closed-door meeting which started after 8 pm, reviewed the recently tabled reforms and discussed issues of corruption in the judiciary, among others. In remarks to the media, before the closed session. The EU head of Delegation stated that it was purposed to have a very open and candid discussion on the matters listed on the agenda.

Pacifici says the purpose of the meeting is to ensure that Uganda, like every other State, delivers to its citizen’s, global goods of justice, security, education and health.

Recently Government tabled five electoral reform bills, among them, the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, the Parliamentary Elections(Amendment) Bill, the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, the Political Parties and Organization (Amendment) Bill and the Local Governments (Amendment) Bill.

The Bills seek to among other things reform electoral laws relating to the qualification of candidate’s campaign, financing and the procedure in which presidential, parliamentary, local governments elections will be held and the role of political parties and the Electoral Commission.

The bill also seeks to incorporate the ten recommendations made by the Supreme Court in the 2016 presidential election petition and the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2018, which scrapped the age limit for presidential and local government candidates, extended the time for filing election petitions, hearing of petitions and the period for holding presidential by-elections when polls are nullified.

The EU in 2016 made up to 30 recommendations for electoral reforms following the election in which they among other things recommended for an independent electoral commission, deletion of some clauses of the public order management act, proposals to differentiate the state from the ruling party during elections among others.

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