Statement to Parliament by Hon. Attorney General on the Statues of Electoral Reforms
Today 14th of May 2019, Hon. William Byaruhanga presented to the house the statues of the Electoral Reforms, following the statement he made 29th January 2019 in which he gave an update on the ongoing electoral law reform process, which was being undertaken by Government. He also made a statement to the Sectoral Committee on Legal and Parliamentary affairs during the presentation of the Ministerial Policy Statement on 9th April, 2019.
The Attorney General informed the house that following the General Elections of 2016, the Supreme Court, in the case of Amama Mbabazi vs. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and others, Election Petition No. I of 2016 recommended that there was a need to amend, among other provisions, articles 104 (2), (3) and (7) of the Constitution in relation to presidential election petitions, the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2018 among others. He noted that the recommendations of the Supreme Court in Election Petition No. I of 2016 were addressed in 2018 when Parliament enacted the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 201 8.
He revealed that the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2018 amended the Constitution to provide for the time within which to hold presidential, parliamentary and local government council elections. It also provided for eligibility requirements for a person to be elected as President or District Chairperson, increased the number of days Page 2 of 7 within which to file and determine a presidential election petition and increased the number of days within which the Electoral Commission is required to hold a fresh election where a presidential election is annulled.
He further highlighted that the Electoral Law Reform Bills as a result of the amendment of the Constitution by the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2018 consequential amendments were required to the following Acts to ensure conformity with the amended provisions as effected by the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 201 8- the Electoral Commissions Act, Cap.l4, the Presidential Elections Act, 2005, the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005 and the Local Governments Act, Cap .243.
Subsequent to the amendment of the Constitution, Bills amending the Electoral Commission Act, Cap 140, the Presidential Elections Act, 2005, the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005 and the Local Government, Cap. 243, the Attorney General told the house that the mentioned reforms had been prepared for submission to Cabinet for approval prior to being introduced in Parliament by the end of May 2019 for debate and enactment.