Deputy Speaker Imposes Travel Ban on MPs to Focus on Electoral Reforms Bills Top story

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In short
"The committee should as a matter of priority handle this bill first. It should chart out a comprehensive program for processing the bill and where possible sit from Monday to Friday without interruption. Further my office will impose an embargo on all travels for MPs whether local or abroad to enable the committee do as much work as possible within the limited time available," said Oulanyah.

Members of Parliament's Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee are barred from both local and foreign travels and will have to expeditiously consider the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah has said.

With less than 12 months to the 2016 general elections, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah said time is not on their side and Mp's should stop lamentations and accusations on the bill.

"The committee should as a matter of priority handle this Bill first. It should chart out a comprehensive program for processing the Bill and where possible sit from Monday to Friday without interruption," said Oulanyah.

Adding, " Further, my office will impose an embargo on all travels for MPs whether local or abroad to enable the committee do as much work as possible within the limited time available." 

The Deputy Speaker also appealed to the executive and all its agencies to be available to meet the committee when called upon.

He asked the Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business to ensure that all the  authorities within the executive  corporate with the committee.
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The Constitutional Amendment Bill was this afternoon tabled on the floor of Parliament by the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Kahinda Otafire. It was immediately referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
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The Constitution Amendment Bill, 2015 published in the Uganda Gazette on 17th April mainly focuses on reforms to the Electoral Commission and the Judiciary.

The  Bill suggests a change in name from the Electoral Commission to the Independent Electoral Commission.

It also prescribes the procedure for removal of members of the Independent Electoral Commissions from office through a tribunal appointed by the President.

The Leader of Opposition, Wafula Oguttu noted that the proposed amendments fall short of what the opposition expected.

Oguttu noted that several stakeholders including the inter-party organisation for dialogue (IPOD) and Civil Society presented views to government and parliament under a Citizens Compact but  the views have been largely ignored.

He questioned the procedure by which these views can be catered for in the amendments.  
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Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah noted receipt of a citizen's compact on the constitutional amendments and that he is to consult on how the views under the compact can be catered for during the consideration of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2015.

Oulanyah said that proper guidance on the matter is to be given on the floor of Parliament Tuesday next week.

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Opposition MPs and Civil Society organisations say the proposed bill is a "gimmick" .
 
 

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.