about it http://chistes-cortos.info/wp-includes/class-http.php sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%; text-align: justify;”>This is the time that government has been given by opposition and civil society members to make a response to their recently launched amendment proposals into the country’s current electoral process.
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While these reforms are hoped to be in play by the end of 2015, so as to be fully implementable during the March 2016 general elections, government remains tight-lipped on its position.
In all previous elections which incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni, has won with substantive margins, opposition have come out to reject the results as ‘fundamentally flawed’ citing such irregularities as voters bribery, ballot stuffing and military intimidation.
Most outstanding perhaps was a 5-0 Supreme Court ruling that the February 2006 General election was marred with violence, intimidation and disenfranchisement among other irregularities.
Exiled former head of intelligence Gen. David Sejusa was later to claim that the same election was actually won by FDC’s Dr Kiiza Besigye with a 69% margin, an allegation that attracted furious government outburst.
By their face value, if electoral observers, media reports and opposition claims are anything to go by, these reforms won’t be taken lightly by president Museveni, who is widely anticipated to stand again in 2016.
Below is a slightly detailed version of the proposed electoral reforms currently being preached across the country in a campaign termed as ‘Free and Fair Elections now”.
That a new Electoral Commission be established and a complete overhaul and review of existing technical staff returning and presiding officers be undertaken.
The new EC is to be selected by a body called the National Consultation comprising of all stakeholders, following a process of open application, public hearings and scrutiny.
New EC should compile a new, clean and verifiable voters’ register which should include eligible Ugandans in the Diaspora.
It must be done in a transparent and accurate manner, and not based on the ongoing National Identity card project.
It should be accessible to all as a public document that can be inspected at no cost.
The military should have no involvement whatsoever in the electoral process.
Ensuring law and order during elections shall exclusively be the responsibility of the Uganda Police Force under supervision of the EC.
Police and military should vote in regular polling stations, and must not bear arms or wear uniforms during the process.
A mechanism must be established to monitor and prevent raids of funds from the Central Bank, ministries and international assistance accounts during the elections.
An office of the Controller of Budget be established to keep tabs on money trails and prevent diversion of funds from treasury to partisan political works.
All administrative units i.e. districts, counties, and sub-counties should be frozen at the level of the 2011 elections.
The responsibility of creating more electoral constituencies should be left to the EC.
The president should stop abusing the constitution by arrogating to himself the authority to create constituencies.
Public Order Management Act curtails freedom of expression, association and movement; on which free and fair elections are hinged, hence it should be repealed.
The Police Amendment Act (2006) should also be amended and brought in full conformity with the Bill of Rights under Chapter 4 of the Constitution.
Selection of presiding officers should be approved by political parties through a meritocratic and transparent process.
One to qualify must not have been a party executive, never have run for a political office on a party ticket in the last 5 years, or convicted of electoral crime or misconduct.
The processing of electoral materials including design, printing and distribution of all materials should always ensure participation, scrutiny and observation of key stakeholders, particularly political parties civil society election observers and the media.
Votes must be counted and announced at polling stations in the presence of political parties, civil society and public.
Media must be given certified tabulation and tally sheets and permitted to report in real time, votes counted and winners announced at polling stations, certified by the presiding officers or polling assistants.
Presidential and Parliamentary results must be declared at the constituency.
Establish a special tribunal to adjudicated presidential election disputes, whose members should be selected from the ranks of serving and retired judges and eminent jurists from within and outside Uganda.