EC, Government Disagree Over Nomination Fees Top story

3164 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa says that since some presidential aspirants had already paid, it would be prudent to leave the status quo at eight million shillings and the new law applied for the 2021 general elections.

The Electoral Commission and government have disagreed over payment of the recently raised presidential nomination fees.

Following the passing by Parliament and assenting of the Presidential Elections Amendment Act by President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday morning, presidential candidates will now have to pay twenty million shillings before nomination, up from eight million shillings.

Dr. Badru Kiggundu, the Electoral Commission chairman, told a news conference Friday that while some presidential aspirants had already paid the old fee, they are required to pay up an additional twelve million shillings.

Cue Out:…as a deposit in myself//

However, Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa says this is retrospective application of the law.

Addressing journalists at Parliament, Nankabirwa said that since some presidential aspirants had already made payments, it would be prudent to leave the status quo at eight million shillings and the new law applied in the run up to the 2021 general elections.

//Cue In: At the time of nomination…
Cue Out:…even is it is a month//

Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, one of the presidential aspirants who had paid the eight million shillings says he is willing to pay the additional fees and will not challenge it in court. He however warns that the precedent of applying laws retrospectively could be challenged by any citizen.

"I shall make the payments because even if I went to court to challenge this, it would drag on for ages yet by that time I shall probably be the President. So, let me go back to Uganda Revenue Authority and make payments," Baryamureeba told URN on phone.

Crispy Kaheru, the coordinator of the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) notes that the increase in nomination fees may promote the long held view that politics in Uganda is a preserve for the wealthy.

"The increase could deter capable but financially modest Ugandans from running for the presidential office. There should be regulations to guide such changes but not reflected in an Act," Kaheru says in a statement.

The Act also scraps government contribution towards campaigns of presidential candidates.


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.