Campaign Facilitation For Presidential Candidates Removed Top story

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In short
Parliament has also voted to increase presidential nomination fees to 20 million shillings and for parliamentary aspirants from 200,000 to 3m shillings.

Any person who wishes to stand for the presidency has to fund their own campaigns.

This is after Parliament on Wednesday evening voted to stop government from funding campaigns for presidential candidates, although government had proposed to increase facilitation provided to a candidate under the Presidential Elections Act from the current twenty million to fifty million shillings.

Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto suggested that the amendment be scrapped to stop wasting taxpayers' money on people who have turned the presidential race into a money minting scheme. Otto told the house that since the Political Parties and Organizations Act already provides for funding for political parties, it would be prudent that all candidates are catered for under this wing and the incidences of independents dealt with.

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Otto's suggestion was welcomed by majority of MPs, mainly from the NRM party who cheered as Kabula County MP, James Kakooza noted that all candidates should show financial strength.

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Raphael Magyezi, Igara West MP, says it will be discriminatory for Parliament to pass laws that only favour campaigns of presidential candidates yet there are many elective positions required to pay nomination fees.

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The house also voted to raise presidential nomination fees from eight million to 20 million shillings. Budadiri West MP, Nandala Mafabi pleaded with the House in vain to delete the clause, citing that it would be unfair for a law to deliberately block persons who wish to vie for the presidency. 

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Parliament also amended the Parliamentary Elections Act to increase the nomination fee for parliamentary aspirants from 200,000 to three million shillings.

Leader of Opposition, Wafula Oguttu asked the House to maintain the fees at one million as proposed by government, warning the MPs not to look to be shutting out their rivals.

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Other proposals passed
Time for closing of polling changed from five to four o'clock to give the Electoral Commission additional time to count, tally, fill required forms and transmit results before it gets dark.

Parliament maintained the dipping of thumb in indelible ink after voting, rejecting a proposal by government to use a pen to apply ink on the thumb without necessarily dipping to ascertain that one voted.

A proposal to allow electoral officials and medical personnel to vote early before polling date was rejected.


About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.