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Opposition to table electoral reforms bill

FILE PHOTO: Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan has said that the opposition will table electoral reforms Bill.

Aol says that the Bill which will to be presented by the Shadow Attorney General, Wilfred Niwagaba is ready and only awaits space on the order paper.

Aol says that her team will not wait for the government to present the electoral reforms despite being given up to April by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.

The LOP, says that the Opposition Bill was once put on the Order Paper but was later removed.

Asked about the proposals in the Bill, Aol said that they include among others having the Electoral Commission (EC) being an Independent body with the President not being the appointing authority.

She said that most of the proposals in the Bill are picked from the pact that the Opposition and Civil Society Organizations compiled ahead of the 2016 elections.

Earlier this year, Aol unveiled ten electoral reforms, saying that government had delayed to table a comprehensive Constitutional Amendment Bill.

Key among the reforms are reinstating and entrenching presidential term limits, having a deputy president as a running mate to the president during elections and removing the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) representatives from parliament and any partisan institution.

The other reforms are that if a presidential candidate garners 10% in general elections, they should be ex-official Members of Parliament, creation of a Speaker’s Panel to advise the office of the Speaker and preside over parliament in case the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are not present and to have a lean government of only 21 Cabinet Ministers and 21 State Ministers.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Kahinda Otafiire, earlier told parliament that a draft Bill detailing the reforms was ready for submission to cabinet.

He, however, said that while government could proceed to introduce the electoral reform bills, it has become evident that in order to severally address matters relating to elections in Uganda, it is necessary to handle the matter in a chronological manner, beginning with the review and amendment of the 1995 Constitution.

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