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Parliament rejects electoral reforms

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th May 2010 03:00 AM

PARLIAMENT yesterday rejected a motion by the opposition seeking to introduce a private members Bill on constitutional amendments to provide for electoral reforms, before the next year’s elections.

PARLIAMENT yesterday rejected a motion by the opposition seeking to introduce a private members Bill on constitutional amendments to provide for electoral reforms, before the next year’s elections.

By Vision Reporters

PARLIAMENT yesterday rejected a motion by the opposition seeking to introduce a private members Bill on constitutional amendments to provide for electoral reforms, before the next year’s elections.

The motion, prepared by shadow attorney general, Erias Lukwago (DP), sought to reinstate the presidential term limits, scrapped in 2005.

It also wanted the Electoral Commission to be restructured and the army excluded from Parliament.

The motion, introduced yesterday, was seconded by Okello-Okello (UPC) and Christopher Kibanzanga (FDC).

It attracted a spirited debate from both the Government and the opposition MPs before the Speaker, Edward Ssekandi, rejected it.

Although the debate was divided along political lines, opposition legislators asked the ruling National Resistance Movement MPs to support the motion, saying it would benefit the whole country.

They argued that the army had become partisan and army MPs sit and vote on the Government’s side, which contravenes the Constitution.

The Prime Minister, Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, opposed the motion, saying there was no time to engage in constitutional reforms.

Security minister Amama Mbabazi pointed out that the army will always be on the Government’s side no matter who is in power.

“The day the army sits on the side of the opposition, the country will be in a state of mutiny,” he said.

Acting opposition leader Alice Alaso (FDC) said they were seeking the amendments to set principles in the Constitution for the good of the nation.
Mary Mugenyi (NRM) said there was need to reconcile the army’s presence in parliament and its neutrality.

The deputy Attorney General, Fred Ruhindi (NRM), said there was no need for reforms since the Constitution provides for revisiting the position of all interest groups in parliament every 10 years.

He advised that this procedure be used rather than amend the constitution.

Parliament rejects electoral reforms

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