A review of January in Parliament
The Parliament of Uganda has been busy and we are working hard to bring you all the stories on what’s happening inside Parliament. The month of January was dominated by the consideration of the budget framework paper both by the sectoral committees and by the house. A couple of Bills were passed and as well as the National Development Plan III. Here are our top stories for the month of January;
As the 2020/2021 budget takes shape, the Parliament considered and passed the report of the Budget Committee on the National Budget Framework paper for the Financial Years 2020/2021 – 2024/2025. A breakdown of this analysis can be accessed here.
The Constitution Amendment Bill 2019 is under consideration
In 2017, some article of the Constitution were amended in arguably the most violent fashion in memory. MPs are at it again. The Committee on Legal is handling the Constitution (Amendment) Bill’ 2019. The Bill seeks to reinstate the Presidential term limits, remove army representation from Parliament, restrict the number of ministers to 21, permit political parties to challenge the Presidential elections, change the name of the Uganda Police Force to Uganda Police Service, repeal the office of the Resident District Commissioners ( RDC), repeal the office of the Prime Minister, involve the Judicial Service Commission in the appointment of members of the Electoral Commission, establish a panel of Speakers among other key changes. We shall follow closely to see how Parliament handles these radical proposals. Read more
Some of the Law passed include:-
The Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 into an Act of Parliament. The Act seeks to strengthen road transport regulation & road safety management in Uganda.
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Amendment Bill, 2019.
Parliament considered and passed the motion for a Resolution of Parliament authorizing Government to borrow up to Euro 162,445,694.1 (US$178,276,661.7) from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to finance the Power Supply to Industrial Parks and Grid Upgrade and Power Transmission Extension Project.
What to expect,
As Uganda gears for the 2021 elections, several electoral reforms have been proposed in five Bills. Parliament is expected to look at and pass the following Bills:
Political Parties and Organisations (amendment) Bill, 2019 the purpose of this Bill is to amend the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2005 to remove the powers given to the Minister to prescribe a code of conduct for political parties and organisations and to prescribe a code of conduct for political parties and organisations as required by article 7I (2) of the Constitutions.
The Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Presidential Elections Act, 2005 to prescribe the period for holding presidential elections; to prescribe the time for campaigns; to provide for the participation of independent candidates in elections; to provide for restrictions on candidates’ sources of funding to finance elections; to provide for the electronic transmission of results and to align the Presidential Elections Act, 2005 with the Constitution as amended by the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2018.
Parliamentary Elections (amendment) Bill, 2019. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005 to provide for the participation of independent candidates in elections; to provide for restrictions on candidates’ sources of funding to finance elections; to require the Electoral Commission to designate restricted areas and to provide for a special procedure for voting in restricted areas.
The Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Electoral Commission Act, Cap.140 to establish the Electoral Reform Committee; to provide for the use of technology in the management of elections; to redesignate registrars as district election administrators; to provide for the appointment of assistant returning officers by the commission; to require the commission to publish in the Gazette, places at which voters ‘registers and polling stations are to be displayed and to align the Electoral Commission Act with the Constitution as amended by the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2018.