Chaos Reigns In Parliament As MPs Pass New Electoral Laws

Chaos Reigns In Parliament As MPs Pass New Electoral Laws

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Yesterday Parliament was split as majority members overpowered their minority counterparts to pass regulations for Political Party Elections aiming to control the COVID-19 virus in the forthcoming general elections.

A move that was mainly pushed by the majority of NRM members of parliament, left majority of opposition members bitter and disappointed.

Some of the opposition MPs who were devastated by the new laws include Hon Reagan Okumu MP for Aswa county who said that it was unfair to pass laws that limit them from accessing their voters.

“What if your party calls for a delegates conference to be attended by one person per district and they pronounce themselves on candidates? Let us not just reject the minority because it was read by the Opposition, we should read and argue with our minds and not emotions,” Hon Reagan Okumu said.

Additionally, Kilak North MP Anthony Akol (FDC) also warned his NRM counterparts against merely supporting something bad because it is from their party as it may work against them in future.

“Supposing the Central Executive Committee of your party chose to handpick a candidate that is not you. We are not saying that there should be no elections but the elections must be within the law,” he argued.

The majority report presented by Mr Jacob Oboth-Oboth (Independent, West Budama South) was signed by 20 out of 29 members.
The report presented three recommendations that include:
1. Regulations should only apply to infectious diseases that are notified under sections 10, 11 and 27 of the Public Health Act.

2. Regulations be expanded to include other matters that can affect the holding of normal party activities, including exigencies posed by a state of emergency or a state of war in Uganda or in any part thereof.

3. Regulations be terminated upon the lifting of the restrictions under which they were brought. However, the Opposition argued that what Parliament was doing was in itself an illegality because it is a direct infringement on the Constitution.

Presenting the minority report which was signed by four members, Mr Medard Sseggona (DP, Busiro East), who doubles as the Shadow Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Opposition argued that what was important was to respect the Constitution.

He also said the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs should “be urged to present to Parliament comprehensive amendments in the Constitution and the Political Parties and Organisations Act to transit the country through the Covid-19 pandemic.

These should include a comprehensive plan of how the government will go through the period of the pandemic.”

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