A Missed Opportunity for Reform: Querying Uganda’s Electoral Amendments

On 22 September 2015, government through the Attorney General tabled before Parliament three pieces of legislation geared towards electoral reforms. In order to follow the stated procedure of tabling these laws, Parliament was recalled from an indefinite recess. Nationwide announcements for the public hearings on the Bills were made, but the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs only had about 5 days to conduct the public hearings and produce a report.[1] Within the short time that Parliament had, they only managed to pass Presidential Elections (Amendment) Act and the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act and the laws were assented to by the President on 1st October, 2015. The Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill was withdrawn by the Attorney General for further consultations from government.[2]

[1] Winnie Watera, Parliament Watch Uganda, ‘Electoral Bills: Little time and unrealistic amendments’, available at http://parliamentwatch.ug/electoral-bills-little-time-and-unrealistic-amendments.

[2] Parliament Watch Uganda, ‘The Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill 2015’, available at http://parliamentwatch.ug/bill-updates/the-electoral-commission-amendment-bill-2015/.