Kiggundu Cautions Against Party Representatives In EC

1732 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Describing it as serving two masters at a go, Kiggundu says the independence of the commission loses meaning if representatives of the commission from different parties fail to regularly have consensus on key decisions.

Outgoing Electoral Commission Chairman, Engineer Badru Kiggundu says appointing political party representatives to serve on the Commission would frustrate the commission's work.

Describing it as serving two masters at ago, Kiggundu says the independence of the Commission loses meaning if representatives of the Commission from different parties fail to regularly have consensus on key decisions.
In a meeting between the Commission and the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee today, Abbas Agaba, Kitagwenda County MP, raised the matter, questioning the composition of the EC, which has over time raised concerns from the opposition.
Agaba wants the Commission to adopt a new system where political parties are duly represented or the Judicial Service Commission to be given the mandate to vet commissioners, to avoid growing concerns on the independence of the EC.
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However, Kiggundu says for as long as the Commission seeks to be independently run, the status quo on appointment of the EC commissioners should remain.
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While the meeting's agenda was for the Commission to discuss its mandate and work to especially the new MPs, some legislators took opportunity to express disappointment with its performance in the 2016 general elections.
Legislators including Matthias Mpuuga, Veronica Bichetero and Denis Hamson Obua noted the increased involvement of EC staff in violation of electoral laws during the elections, as highlighted by court during election petition hearings.
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Wilfred Niwagaba, Ndorwa East MP, on the other hand, noted the interference of the state on the electoral process, which questions the independence of the commission.

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In response, Kiggundu explained that despite the Commission's shortcomings under his tenure which ends on November 17, his team has done its work diligently.
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Kiggundu retires in October after serving as EC chairman for 14 years during which period he organised three general elections in 2006, 2011 and 2016. He was in charge in 2005 when the country held a referendum that ended the Movement system and ushered multi-party politics for the first time in 25 years. 


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.