Relax rules for LC elections, government tells MPs
Posted Wednesday, February 27 2013 at 02:00
The government yesterday asked Parliament to relax requirements for holding of long-overdue local council elections as provided for under the Local Government Act in a bid to reduce costs.
The request also generated a hot debate on whether all counties should be declared districts. By press time, MPs were locked in passionate debate over the proposals.
Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesigye had revealed that the Electoral Commission requested Shs120billion to hold the LC1 elections which figure Cabinet found impossible and recommended that the law be amended to reduce costs to manageable levels.
To cut the costs, the government proposes to provide for transmission of only the electronic version of the voter’s register to registered political parties and organisations for LC1 and II elections.
The new proposals also mandate the EC to publish lists of polling stations for local council elections only in The Gazette and post only relevant parts of voters’ registers on notice boards in every parish. If adopted, it will cease to be a requirement to publish lists of polling stations in the print media.
The House committee on Public Service and Local Government stretched matters with a recommendation in its report to Parliament that all counties be declared districts. The committee’s position was that whereas there are 169 counties in Uganda, of these, 111 are districts.
But some lawmakers rejected the proposal. “Where is money going to come from? Is this what we must legislate as MPs? We need a formula for creation of these districts. We want regional tier to end this entire hullabaloo,” Ibanda MP Margaret Kiboijana said.
The minister has also proposed that county councils be abolished since almost each county is now a district.