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We are not to blame for MPs' qualifications - EC

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Added 30th June 2016 06:37 PM

Some 10 MPs have been thrown out of Parliament over insufficient academic qualifications.

Some 10 MPs have been thrown out of Parliament over insufficient academic qualifications.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has distanced itself from allegations that it is responsible for that the verification of the fake documents which has led to many MPs lose their seats.

Speaking to journalist at a pressbriefing at EC head officers in Kampala today (Thursday), the acting EC chairperson, Joseph Biribonwa said it is the responsibility of the National Council of Higher Education to verify the academic documents.

"Our area is clearly demarcated. Our mandate is to organize elections but we do not verify people's academic papers because we do not have that expertise. It is NCHE to do that and we remain at the receiving end," he noted.

About 10 MPs have of recent been thrown out of Parliament after High Court nullified their victory in the 2016 Parliamentary elections,  over insufficient academic qualifications .

Biribonwa said EC should never be blamed because they go with what NCHE decides.

He said EC will have to comply with all court orders in case of any need for a by-election. "Of course we have lawyers and we consult them for advice. But in case of any by-election, we have no choice but to look for money," he added.

Biribonwa also announced a sh1.719bn electoral programme for the newly created districts. They are; Kagadi and Kakumiro curved out of r Kibaale respectively, Omoro from Gulu and Rubanda from Kabale.

The elective positions include district Women representative, district chairperson, female and male councilor for youth and Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons.

They also intend to hold residue local Government Council elections for Sub County chairpersons in Kasenda Sub County (Kabarole district), Kinoni Sub County (Kiruhura district) and male councilor for Older Persons Nansana division, Nansana municipality in Wakiso district.

The polling is to take place on August 26 for special groups, August 29,  for district chairperson and Women representatives, while residual Local Government Council elections will take place on July 7.   

The update of voters' register will kick start from July 13 to 18, Nomination of candidates (July 19 to 20), while campaigns will run from July 22, to August 27.

Biribionwa said a total of 205 petitions arose out of the 2016 general elections with one Presidential petition which was disposed off. A total of 140 were from Parliamentary elections with only 40 complete, while 64 petitions arose from the local Government elections, with only four being complete.

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