Parliament takes stand against bill seeking for special groups to vote at special polling stations

The parliamentary committee on legal and parliamentary affairs has taken its stand over a controversial section in the  presidential amendment bill seeking for special groups to vote  at special polling stations  as will be  gazetted  by the electoral commission while they are on duty of deployment. This was reached on as the committee chaired by Kajara county MP Stephen Tashobya was meeting the Electoral commission officials led by the commission chairperson Dr. Badru Kiggundu.

Members of Parliament said that this section 39 in the Principal  Act of the Presidential election Act will be difficult for them to approve saying that the section is a cause for suspicion among many Ugandans who are crying for free and fair elections. MPs said that such a section will be considered in the next elections but not under this 9thparliament, though the same section was advanced in 2003 but also was rejected.

The Electoral commission wanted the legal committee to adopt this section to allow groups like persons in medical institutions, election officers and those in restricted areas to vote at special polling stations since these are busy people.

MPs also rejected a proposal by the Uganda Revenue Authority, through the Electoral commission, that tax clearance certificates are a requirement for someone to contest for national election. Kabula County MP James Kakooza said that the weakness of URA to collect its tax should not be pushed on the electoral commission. The committee also reported that most political parties want the election returning officers at constituency level for quick tallying of results but the chairman electoral commission Badru Kiggundu rejected the request that this will be costly to the commission as also women MPs say that at county level they will be overburdened since they look for votes in many counties.

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