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Referendum To Cost Sh29b

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th January 2004 03:00 AM

THE Electoral Commission (EC) has submitted a budget of sh29b to the Cabinet for a likely referendum in 2005, sources have said.

THE Electoral Commission (EC) has submitted a budget of sh29b to the Cabinet for a likely referendum in 2005, sources have said.

By Felix Osike
THE Electoral Commission (EC) has submitted a budget of sh29b to the Cabinet for a likely referendum in 2005, sources have said.
“The commission was asked to give a projection of how much it would cost should there be a referendum and that is what they computed, “ a cabinet source said on Friday.
Janat Mukwaya, the constitutional affairs minister, last year tabled the Referendum and Other Provisions Bill 2003 before Parliament under which such a referendum would be held. It is set to replace the Referendum (Political Systems) Act 2000 which has expired.
In June 2000, Ugandans voted to retain the Movement system in a referendum boycotted by political parties.
Other sources said after scrutinising the budget, the Cabinet wants the figure reduced to sh24b.
Sources said the 2005 referendum would have more than one question. But the two main issues are whether Uganda should return to multiparty democracy and the proposed lifting of a president’s constitutional two five-year limit.
A committee headed by the Vice-President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, was formed to handle the matter. There are other sub-committees to determine the legal and financial implications.
Mukwaya and the EC chief, Eng. Badru Kiggundu, were not available for comment yesterday.
“We are still waiting for the report of the committee,” said a cabinet minister yesterday.
A coalition of seven political parties recently advised the government to abandon its plan of holding a referendum and give political parties space to sell their ideas to the population.
The 1995 constitution says the resolutions or petitions for the purposes of changing the political systems shall be taken
only in the fourth year of the term of any Parliament. The Seventh Parliament’s five-year term expires in 2006.
There is no automatic referendum in 2005. But Article 74 of the constitution provides for the holding of a referendum for changing a political system. It says a referendum shall be held if asked for by a resolution supported by more than half of the MPs or by a majority of the total membership of each of at least one half of the district councils.
Failure to submit a petition means the Movement system, under which Uganda has been ruled since 1986, shall continue in operation unless the Constitutional Review Commission recommends otherwise.
It can also be requested for through a petition to the EC by at least one-tenth of the registered voters from each of at least two-thirds of the constituencies for which representatives are directly elected. There are 214 constituencies for directly elected MPs.
Article 255 enjoins Parliament to enact a law to enable citizens to hold a referendum on any local or national issue in any part of Uganda.
Ends

Referendum To Cost Sh29b

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