and John Odyek
THE Attorney General, Khiddu Makubuya, has supported the Electoral Commissionâ€™s nomination dates for the 2006 elections.
In a statement to Parliament yesterday, he said Article 103(3) of the Constitution provided that the election of the President be held during the first 30 days of the last 90 days before the expiry of the presidential term.
â€œTechnically, this means that the election of the President shall be held between February 12, 2006 and March 12, 2006.
â€œThis position was not amended by the just-concluded constitutional review process. It is therefore the constitutional basis for announcing nominations,â€ he said.
He said the nomination was intended to give public servants who intended to stand as MPs the opportunity to resign 90 days before nominations.
Makubuya said since the next elections would be held under a multiparty political system, the EC was of the view that political parties should be given time to identify and select candidates for the different categories of elections.
â€œNotification of nomination dates in good time is very crucial, taking into consideration the constitutional deadlines,â€ he said.
However, in spite of the constitutional (amendment) No.3 Bill 2005, some MPs opposed a clause requiring public servants to resign 90 days before nominations.
Aggrey Awori (Samia Bugwe North) said the 90 days had raised concern and the civil society was mounting pressure on Parliament to re-examine the clause.
Sauda Mugerwa (Masaka) said the 90 days might discourage civil servants from joining politics.
However, Dr. Okulo Epak (Oyam South) defended Parliament, saying Public Service Standing Orders prohibited civil servants from participating in active politics.
MPs were doubtful as to whether the time frame given by the commission would be complied with.
Makubuya backs nomination dates