Kampala- Elections for parliamentary and local council seats in the four newly-created districts will be held in August, the Electoral Commission (EC) has said.
The four Kagadi, Kakumiro, Rubanda districts, all in western Uganda and Omoro District in northern Uganda become effective today.
Members of the Ninth Parliament approved the creation of these districts in 2015.
Parliament’s nod came on the heels of then Local Government minister Adolf Mwesige’s argument that the new districts are necessary “for effective administration of those districts and to take [social] services [such as health and education] closer to the people”.
In Omoro and Rubanda, the voters will be voting for district chairpersons.
In Rubanda though, they will also be voting for a district woman representative to Parliament and female and male councillors for the youth council, persons with disabilities and elder persons.
In Kibaale, Gulu and Kabale – the districts from which the government carved the new districts – the sitting woman representatives had to decide if they wanted to continue representing the mother districts or want to contest in the new ones.
Only the Kibaale District Woman representative had indicated she would contest in the new district of Kakumiro. “The cost for conducting the elections will be Shs1.719 billion,” EC’s director finance and administration, Ms Jovita T Byamugisha, said during a press conference in Kampala yesterday.
Between today and August 26 and 29, when the elections for special interest groups and the district chairpersons and women representatives, respectively will be held, the EC will register eligible voters in the four districts.
It will also recruit officials who will manage the display of the voter’s register.
The officials will also receive the nomination of the aspirants, and, when the campaigns begin, follow them to ensure the candidates comply with electoral laws.
During yesterday’s press conference, the acting chairperson of the EC, Mr Joseph Biribonwa, said the EC would comply with court orders pertaining to the electoral petitions.
He absolved the EC of blame for some MPs whose election courts of law have quashed.
“On academic papers, the law is clear, it is the National Council for Higher Education that verifies [academic] qualifications. We go by what we get from the National Council of Higher Education which does its verification in consultation with Uneb [the Uganda National Examinations Board]. I do not want to dwell on this matter because it is a matter still before court,” Mr Biribonwa said.
140: Total number of parliamentary election petitions. Of the 140, eight petitions have since been withdrawn, the EC was cleared in 22 and 40 others dealt with. That leaves 100 parliamentary petitions pending.
40; Total number of local government election petitions, four of which have been dispensed with.