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Opposition, speaker to meet over electoral reforms

FILE PHOTO: Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan flanked by Ssemujju and Nambooze.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Opposition in Parliament will on Friday meet the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over electoral reforms ahead of the 2021 elections.

In 2016, Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe while delivering their judgment in the Amama Mbabazi Versus Museveni and 2 Others Presidential Election Petition made pronouncements about outstanding electoral reforms that are meant to guarantee free and fair elections.

Some of the recommendations included extending the filing and determination period of presidential election petitions to 60 days to enable the concerned parties and court to adequately prepare and present their case, regulation of public officials in elections and punishment of media houses, which refuse to grant equal airtime to all presidential candidates and prohibition of donations during elections among others.

However, Government has failed to table the electoral reforms before Parliament citing lack of finances and need for harmonization of the different electoral reforms.

Now as the deadline given to government by Parliament approaches, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and the Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Niwagaba will meet to look at the fate of the reforms if Government is not ready by next week.

According to the Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan, since Government has delayed with the proposals, they are trying to convince the Speaker to give them time on the order paper to table the reforms as opposition.

She says the reforms are very important if they are to have an election in 2021.

According to the Opposition Chief whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, government had guaranteed that next week they would table the bills.

He says that if Government does not table the reforms, the opposition should be allowed to present alternative proposals.

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