Electoral Commission accused of abdicating its role of demarcating constituencies

  • Posted on: 17 January 2019
  • By: Presenters

MPs have accused the electoral commission of abdicating its role of demarcating constituencies leaving the executive to mismanage the task.

The matter arose as electoral commission officials appeared before the legal committee of Parliament which is scrutinizing the budgetary allocations in the budget framework paper.

The electoral commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama lamented the absence of resources to conduct elections in the newly created districts that became operational at the start of this FY.

The districts are six namely Nabilatuk, kwania, kabelebyong, kasanda, Bugweri and kikuube. The chairperson of the commission pointed out that in addition they will need funds as well to conduct elections in seven more districts that become operational on the 1st of July this year.

The secretary to the commission Sam Rwakoojo says a total of 11.7bn shillings is required to carry out these elections.

However the shadow attorney general Wilfred Niwagaba argued that the EC had abandoned its role of demarcating constituencies leaving it to the executive which has ended up creating electoral areas in an irregular manner. He stated that this has caused the cost of public administration to skyrocket.

 

In his defence the EC chairperson Byabakama argued that article 61 of the constitution empowers Parliament to prescribe constituencies as it sees fit. He argues that the EC is only mandated under the same article to ensure the constituencies as prescribed by parliament have representatives.

He added that the only time the EC is mandated to review and demarcate constituencies is 12 months after a national census.

 

The Electoral commission is also requesting for 428bn shillings for next FY to carry out the second Phase of electoral activities for the 2021 General elections