On the 5th March, 2020 Par­lia­ment passed two bills that were re­main­ing of the five elec­toral re­forms ahead of the 2021 gen­eral elec­tions. The other three bills were passed in the pro­ceed­ing sit­tings. The bills were passed with amend­ments. Here are the key high­lights on the re­forms:

The Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tions Amend­ment Bill 2019:

Clause 3 was deleted. It pro­posed that a per­son is only el­i­gi­ble to stand for elec­tion as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date if that per­son is not a mem­ber of a reg­is­tered po­lit­i­cal party or or­ga­ni­za­tion, hav­ing ceased to be a mem­ber of a po­lit­i­cal party or or­gan­i­sa­tion be­fore nom­i­na­tion day, hav­ing had his or her mem­ber­ship of a po­lit­i­cal party or or­gan­i­sa­tion ter­mi­nated be­fore the nom­i­na­tion day or hav­ing never been reg­is­tered as a mem­ber of a po­lit­i­cal party or or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Clause 6 was deleted. This pro­posed pro­hi­bi­tion of Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates from re­ceiv­ing fund­ing from a for­eign gov­ern­ment.

Clause 13 was also deleted; this clause was in­tended to bar the Pres­i­dent from giv­ing do­na­tions dur­ing elec­tion pe­riod.

Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions Amend­ment Bill, 2019:

The clauses that pro­vided for the el­i­gi­bil­ity of can­di­dates, sim­i­lar to those deleted in the Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tions Amend­ment Bill, were also deleted from the Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions Bill and the sub­se­quent bills.

Clause 1 was amended to pro­vide that where a new dis­trict or con­stituency is cre­ated af­ter the gen­eral par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, the elec­tions to fill the va­cant elec­tive po­si­tion for the dis­trict or con­stituency Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment shall be held at the next gen­eral par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

The nom­i­na­tion fee for the can­di­dates for Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions was main­tained at 3,000,000 Uganda shillings.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion Amend­ment Bill, 2019:

The amend­ment pro­vides for elec­tronic dis­play of elec­tion re­sults for the can­di­dates dur­ing the tal­ly­ing process to en­sure trans­parency of the process.

Ac­cord­ing to this new law, in case of an elec­toral pe­ti­tion and it is found that the Elec­toral Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer is per­son­ally re­spon­si­ble for the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, he/​she is li­able to pay a pro­por­tion of the com­pen­sa­tion. This serves as pun­ish­ment for re­turn­ing of­fi­cers who get in­volved in elec­tion mal­prac­tice.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ments Amend­ment Bill, 2019:

The amend­ment pro­vides that the in a sit­u­a­tion where a new Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment or ad­min­is­tra­tive unit is cre­ated af­ter the lo­cal Gov­ern­ment coun­cil elec­tions, the elec­tions to fill the elec­tive po­si­tions in the newly cre­ated lo­cal Gov­ern­ments or ad­min­is­tra­tive unit shall be held at the next Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Coun­cil elec­tions.

Clause 7 was amended set­ting the min­i­mum qual­i­fi­ca­tions for Sub-County Chair­per­sons at O’Level. The May­ors of Cities, Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and Di­vi­sions are also ex­pected to meet this re­quire­ment. Only the Coun­cilors were ex­empted from these re­quire­ments with the new amend­ment.

The Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties and Or­gan­i­sa­tions Amend­ment Bill, 2019:

With this amend­ment, each po­lit­i­cal party is re­spon­si­ble for the code of con­duct of its can­di­dates’ sup­port­ers dur­ing the elec­toral processes.

In this law, mem­bers of Po­lit­i­cal par­ties their sup­port­ers will be banned from in­tim­i­dat­ing, dis­rupt­ing meet­ings or ral­lies of any mem­ber or sup­porter of the per­son af­fil­i­ated to other par­ties and or­ga­ni­za­tions.