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CSOs call for speedy enactment of electoral reforms

By Paul Kiberu Bali

Added 26th March 2019 05:33 PM

After the contested 2016 general election results the Supreme Court suggested a number of reforms

After the contested 2016 general election results the Supreme Court suggested a number of reforms

Civil society organisations have called for the quick amendment of electoral laws to allow free and fair elections come 2021.

Crispin Kaheru the Citizens' Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) national coordinator said they are worried that as we draw nearer to the next general election, none of the recommended electoral reforms have been worked upon.

Kaheru said it is high time the Attorney General pronounces himself on what the government is doing about the much-needed reforms, seeing that the two-year threshold given by the Supreme Court is soon lapsing.

He added that the delays to have the reforms in place as the country prepares for the 2021 general elections worries stakeholders that the results may not be any different from those of the previous elections.

He reiterated the need for every stakeholder to hold the Parliament and the minister for justice and constitutional affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, accountable because the reforms form a basis for a positive election result. Adding that an election outcome is as good as the process and the process must be participatory.

It should be remembered after the contested 2016 general election results the Supreme Court, civil society organisations and political parties suggested a number of reforms they think will help in levelling the ground for fair competition in the forthcoming general election.

On several occasions, Otafiire has given several excuses for the delay, including taking time to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted as well as the need for a constitutional review commission to collect the views of every citizen which will form the nexus for the much-needed reform.

Kaheru made the appeal at the launch of a loose network of dynamic Ugandan civil society activists aimed at fostering innovative advocacy ideas on human rights, democracy and good governance.

The coalition dubbed as Game Changer comprises of seven civil society organisations including CCEDU, Human Rights Network For Journalists (HRNJ), Rwenzori Peace Bridge (RPB) and African Youth Development Link (AYDL) among others which will work together to track the implementation of activities of the Electoral Commission roadmap on a monthly basis and keep citizens aware of the progresses .

According to Charity Ahimbisibwe the head of the project and senior communication and advocacy manager at CCEDU, the Citizens Electoral Roadmap Tracker will be used to monitor the roadmap activities, highlight the milestones along the line, raise red flags on any omissions or delays by the specified stakeholders and call on them to action.

Ahimbisibwe added that the tracker will provide monthly updates about the electoral roadmap on Game Changers social media platforms, radios and other media to keep the masses aware of what is going on and also encourage them to participate actively in the process.

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