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No budget for referendum on presidential term extension

A female voter casting her ballot in 2016. Electoral Commission says it is not prepared to hold a referendum for the extension of presidential term

Electoral Commission chairman Simon Byabakama has told parliament that his commission is not prepared for the anticipated referendum on the extension of the presidential term in office.

Byabakama told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee yesterday that the commission can only budget for and organize a referendum after receiving a formal communication from parliament.

This did not go well with the committee chairperson Jacob Oboth-Oboth who said Byabakama and his commission should be aware of proceedings in parliament that led to approval of the presidential term extension.

“It is under the EC mandate to conduct elections once the bill was enacted into law, parliament doesn’t need to convene another sitting to pass a new resolution to that effect,” Oboth-Oboth said.

The extension of the presidential term of office from five to seven years was a recommendation by the legal committee, which scrutinized the Constitutional Amendment (N0. 2) Bill 2017.

The bill, which also removed presidential age limits and restored term limits, was passed by parliament on December 20 and President Museveni appended his signature a week later.

The move, however, is under contention by some Ugandans and the Uganda Law Society and the opposition have since gone to court demanding its nullification.

Under the law, the recommendation to extend the presidential tenure of office can only go through a referendum. Section 4 of the Referendum and other Provisions Act, 2005 enjoins the commission to organize, conduct and supervise all referenda.

According to Byabakama, where a referendum is required, the commission shall, upon receipt of a resolution from Parliament, subject it to Article 260 and prepare accordingly.  

“Once we are armed with a resolution, we shall go ahead and budget for the referendum,” Byabakama said.

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Comments

+1 #1 gwok 2018-01-20 21:57
“Once we are armed with a resolution, we shall go ahead and budget for the referendum,” Byabakama said....."

That is a NEAT ambush of the NRM/M7, isn't it? Why: (a) Going back to the parliament for that resolution could be like replaying the bill's script all over again.

(b) Going for a referundum is a 101% risk for them because the view out there is already known.

(c) The courts too have yet to say something. All 3 are process-wise mutually inclusive steps to watch.

(d) The earlier rather optional threat of using "complicated means" could come into play, with an even greater risk of triggering the "last thing" that could break their backs. Game set. Play on.

The decision will be by penalty kicks & M7 is the goal-keeper on one side.
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+1 #2 Lysol 2018-01-22 01:57
No surprise here since the regime use all the money to buy the age bill. It shows luck of financial planning and incompetence.
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0 #3 kelem 2018-01-22 10:15
since this hinges on life presidency for a greedy man, the monies will come without a doubt.

Talk of staying in power at all cost.

Ugandan captivity at play here
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0 #4 Lakwena 2018-01-22 12:44
For Trump it is America first. But in Uganda, since 1986, it is M7 first

In other words how many referendums do we need to elongate Mr. M7's life-presidency.

That is the greed-price Ugandans are paying to sustain and maintain a shifty, lying one-man rule in State House.
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