Govt Sets January 2017 For LC Elections

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In short
State Minister of Finance David Bahati says that, following consultations with the ministries of Local Government and Gender, plus the Electoral Commission, it was agreed that the elections should be held in January to allow for the lower administrative units to become operational.

Government has made a commitment to hold lower Local Council 1 and 2 elections by end of January 2017.
 
State Minister of Finance, David Bahati, told the committee on Public Service and Local Government that following consultations with the ministries of Local Government and Gender, plus the Electoral Commission, it was agreed that the elections should be held in January to allow for the lower administrative units to become operational.
 
This is a U-turn from government's earlier position last week that it does not have any funds in the 2016/2017 financial year to conduct the elections which were last held in 2006.
 
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Bahati says the government is looking at spending at least 12 billion shillings; down from 37 billion shillings earlier budgeted for the polls, including the women council elections.
 
The Minister says government is pushing for amendments to the Local Government Act to have the preparations of the elections in the shortest time possible.
 
EC Secretary, Sam Rwakoojo says the January deadline is achievable if Parliament amends the laws urgently to make the exercise, including display of registers, affordable.
 
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Committee chairperson, Raphael Magyezi, however tasked government to come up with the amendments.
 
Last year, Parliament passed the Local Government Amendment Act to allow voters in the LC 1 and LC 2 elections vote by lining up behind the candidates.
 
This was in a bid to reduce costs of holding the elections from 500 billion shillings to 35 billion shillings.
 
The announcement puts to an end months of haggling within government on when the elections will be held.

 

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.