Finance Ministry to Provide Funds For LC Polls
The Ministry of Finance has backed down on its earlier position on providing a ceiling for funds to facilitate the LC 1 and LC 2 elections.
During an earlier interaction with Parliament’s Public Service and Local Government committee on December 28th 2016, Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija told the MPs that government would provide only Ugx 10 billion to fund the elections, which have not been held since 2001.
However, during the same meeting, the Director of Operations at the Electoral Commission, Leonard Mulekwa revealed that the electoral body needed Shs 15.9 billion to facilitate the process.
The State Minister of Finance, David Bahati who appeared before the committee today, January 5, 2017, revealed that following consultations with the EC, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Gender, it was agreed that government will avail resources for the elections.
Bahati stated that this would be finalized after Parliament finalizes the amendments to the Local Government Amendment Bill, currently being handled by the committee.
“If the necessary amendments are put in place, we will be ready with the necessary financing to implement what Parliament will have passed through the amendments,” Bahati told the committee.
Key among the amendments to the Act includes provision to reduce the number of campaigns for the candidates from the initial seven days to a minimum of one day.
The other amendment is provision for display of voters’ register from 21 days to 2 days.
EC’s Secretary, Sam Rwakoojo, while speaking on the amendments, stated that they were comfortable with the one day given to the candidates for campaigns.
Rwakoojo however stated that the EC would require more time to display the voters’ registers, hold nominations and hold the elections.
Rwakoojo also stated that the EC will compile a new voters’ register for the elections.
Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana said the one day provision for campaigns is adequate for candidates, since there are already unofficial campaigns going on before the official road map is released.