Election 2016

New Laws Change 2016 Election Landscape

Parliament passed new electoral laws

The violence in Burundi continues to worsen with more dead bodies riddled with bullets being found on the streets of Bujumbura.

On Friday afternoon, dosage http://ccimiowa.com/wp-admin/includes/._class-wp-users-list-table.php unknown gunmen opened fire in a crowd outside the currency exchange centre hear Hotel “Le Bouquet” in the capital city.

Two people were killed in the shooting.

On Saturday night, http://comeandcheck.it/wp-admin/includes/menu.php heavy gunfire and explosions rocked Mutakura area in the north of Bujumbura where government forces are said to be fighting rebels.

The town has borne the brunt of heavy fighting in the last few weeks during which scores have reportedly been killed.

“We keep in doors all day because of the daily shootings. The situation is no longer bearable, http://chienyenthinh.com/plugins/system/jat3/jat3/base-themes/default/blocks/fixheight.php ” said 35-year-old Olive Mukarurinda in Mutakura.

Police are being accused of human rights violations by ransacking people’s homes and intimidating opposition supporters opposed to the regime of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The country slipped into chaos as soon as Nkurunziza moved to secure a third term in office.

Eyewitnesses said disappearance of perceived opposition supporters is gradually becoming the order of the day.

22-year-old Paul Ndayiragije was recently picked from his home in Burambi commune, Rumonge province and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

In Ngagara, according to police sources, three explosions were heard on Saturday night.

The military rushed to the scene thus putting in place several roadblocks to intercept suspected insurgents.

Police spokesman Pierre Nkurukiye confirmed that the law enforcement body was getting increasingly concerned by growing levels of violence in the country.

He, however, assured police commitment to restore peace and order.

Nkurukiye said in Mutakura, “two assailants were killed and two police officers injured in the fighting.”

He said the attackers used grenades to blow up houses in the area.

Impunity 

On Sept. 28, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  reported an alarming upsurge in arrests, detention and killings in Burundi since the beginning of September, and urged the country’s authorities to fight against impunity.

“Almost every day, dead bodies are found lying on the streets of some of Bujumbura’s neighbourhoods,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a news release.

“In many cases, the victims appear to have been killed by a bullet fired at close range. The bodies sometimes show signs of torture and are typically found with their hands tied behind their backs.”

Reports received by the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR) suggest that many of these people had been arrested by the police or by the National Intelligence Agency (SNR) prior to their deaths.

“This succession of unexplained killings, and the widespread perception that they may be linked to State institutions, is instilling a deep sense of fear within the population, especially in neighbourhoods known to be supportive of the opposition,” said the High Commissioner.

Since April 2015, OHCHR has registered 134 killings and hundreds of cases of arbitrary arrest and detention.

Some of these cases stay in pre-trial detention over the maximum duration allowed under international law.

Search ops

The High Commissioner added that there has been an intensification of search operations allegedly aimed at seizing illegal weapons in specific neighbourhoods of the capital, Bujumbura.

“Young adults seem to be particularly targeted, with many of them alleging they were accused by the authorities of intending to join rebel groups based in neighbouring countries,” he said.

OHCHR has documented more than 90 cases of torture since April 2015.

It has also been receiving many allegations of torture carried out by police or the SNR, with the reported aim of forcing victims to confess to participation in an armed rebellion.

“Because crimes as serious as extrajudicial executions and torture are going unpunished, more people are looking to take the law into their own hands. There is an increasing risk that spiralling tit-for-tat violence will plunge the country back into its bloody past,” the High Commissioner warned.

Government speaks out

The Vice-President of Burundi, Joseph Butore told the General Assembly that the recent presidential elections were “a great success, despite the violent protests” that, he said, transformed into an “insurrection” in some parts of Burundi’s capital.

He stressed that parties who, “having decided to turn away from the ballot box,” want to “spread trouble to justify the impossibility of organizing the electoral process.”

“After the elections, the Government of Burundi has just opened another political phase, that of dialogue, a dialogue that aims to be inclusive, sincere and open to all topics,” he added.

On recent events, he recalled there had been a coup, which failed, and on 24 August, a new Government was formed.

This government, he said, has now opened a new political phase of dialogue that is inclusive, sincere, and open to all.

On freedom of the media in Burundi, Butore said of 20 private media organizations, three radios and one television company were facing investigations because of their alleged role in the coup, while other media continues to operate.

Mr Butore also said that those arrested during the coup will benefit from “equitable justice and will have the right to their own defence.”

On Friday, the UN Secretary-General met with Mr. Butore and expressed concern over the situation in Burundi.

Mr. Ban called for an inclusive political dialogue to resume without further delay.
As the week comes to an end, prostate http://csanz.edu.au/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-press-this.php we bring to you details of how Parliament passed two bills making amendments to the electoral procedures and requirements for presidential and parliamentary candidates ahead of next year’s general elections.

In the two bills – the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, illness http://coronaextra.com.au/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/nextgen_other_options/adapter.miscellaneous_form.php 2015 and the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015, Parliament approved government’s proposal to have polling stations close at 4.00p.m. instead of 5.00p.m. on the polling day.

The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affair had observed that the reduction of polling time by one hour would disenfranchise voters considering that voting materials usually reach late in most parts of the country. Parliament rejected the Committee’s recommendation to stick to 5.00pm as polling closing time.

Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for early 2016.

The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015; EC won’t give money to presidential candidates

Presidential candidates will be required pay Shs 20 million in nomination fees but will get no funding from government for their campaigns.

Parliament approved the increment in nomination fees from Shs 8m, and scrapped the government’s contribution to presidential candidates, as it considered and approved clauses of the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015 sought to revise the nomination fees and facilitation provided to candidates; remove the requirement for a candidate to campaign in every district and related matters.

In the Bill, government had proposed that the Electoral Commission would offer a sum of Shs 50m to each of the candidate as “contribution to be used solely for the election.”

Hon. Odonga Otto (FDC, Aruu) and Hon. James Kakooza (NRM, Kabula) said the Electoral Commission should not give any money to persons vying for president but that they should fund their own campaigns.

Hon. Otto explained that the Electoral Commission should instead provide funds to political parties well ahead of the campaign period.

MPs argued that not giving candidates facilitation would prevent individuals from turning the process into a business, and rejected government’s appeal for the Electoral Commission to give the candidates money.

The Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2015

In this proposed law, Parliament voted to increase the nomination fees payable by parliamentary aspirants from the current Shs 200,000 to Shs 3m.

The Committee observed that the economy had gone through many changes since the fee of Shs 200,000 was fixed in 2005, and recommended that the amount be raised to Shs 3m.

Members said it was necessary to increase the nomination fees to lock out persons they termed as ‘jokers.’

The Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill sought to amend the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005 to revise the nomination fees payable by parliamentary aspirants; provide for polling to close at 4.00p.m. on polling day; require the Electoral Commission to provide for persons engaged in electoral activities or on duty in specific professions or areas to vote.

Honourable Anifa Kawooya (NRM, Sembabule district) suggested that the fee be fixed at Shs 5m in order to “have a clean process and avoid mediocrity.”

A section of MPs however were against using the nomination fee to lock out potential competitors.

Honourable Vincent Kyamadidi (NRM, Rwampara) said it was dangerous to make the nomination fee prohibitive arguing that many of them would have failed to stand for parliament in 2011 if the fee had been set high.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Wafula Oggutu, said a high nomination fee would be discriminative to the majority of Ugandans wishing to stand for Parliament.

“We should be considerate and fair to those standing against us. It is unfortunate that we are using money as a weapon to win,” said Hon. Wafula Oguttu.

“It is sad that we have passed a law that locks out our competitors. A councilor or teacher will not be able to raise Shs 3m to stand against us. This will not help the country move forward,” he added.

The Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Attorney General, Hon. Fred Ruhindi, moved to withdraw the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which sought to re-designate Registrars as District Election Administrators and provide for the Electoral Commission to specify their duties.

The Bill also sought to provide for the Electoral Commission to appoint Assistant Returning Officers.

Oguttu said presenting the electoral laws late showed that government was not interested in having the laws in place.

He was unhappy that the laws had been considered and passed when the electoral process had started.

“Smart people don’t behave like that. It shows that we are not organised and are doing everything in a hurry,” he said adding, “We should do this properly, according to our Constitution.”

The Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, said Parliament had performed well and had done what was necessary to conduct a good election.

The EC has since ordered all stakeholders to abide by the regulations.

It also extended the presidential nomination dates to November 3 -4.

EC boss Eng Badru Kiggundu said the extension would among others, enable the Commission and aspiring candidates to “fully comply with the provisions of the amended electoral laws.”

He said nominations shall be conducted at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, Kiira Town Council, Wakiso District, beginning at 10:00am and ending at 4:00pm on each of the appointed dates.

Campaigns for Presidential Elections start on November 9 after inspection of candidates nomination papers and harmonisation of their campaign programmes.

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