KAMPALA. The Electoral Commission yesterday unveiled a revised road map detailing the trail of events ahead of the 2016 general elections.
On May 7, 2013, the Electoral Commission released its road map to the 2016 general elections almost three years early, but the commission has come under criticism for failing to follow up on the key events it announced.
The revised road map comes at a time when Parliament is yet to debate a raft of electoral reforms from political parties, civil society organisations and other stakeholders who want the reforms enacted for a credible, free and fair election in 2016.
Some of the reform proposals include establishing an independent and impartial electoral commission, setting up a verifiable register of all voters, which should include eligible Ugandans in the diaspora and removing Army representatives from Parliament.
Others include conducting elections for LC3, LC5, Parliament and President on one day and removing workers from special interest group representation. Although the proposed reforms affect the activities the EC plans to work on in the revised road map, Mr Joseph N. Biribonwa, the Acting Electoral commission Chairman says they cannot halt their programme in anticipation of the reforms
“We are working within the current laws. If there are future laws that will impact on this programme, I don’t want to speculate on them but we cannot fold our hands and wait for the reforms because we don’t even know which reforms are coming,” Mr Biribonwa said.
The EC will between April 7 to April 30, update the national register to include eligible Ugandan citizens who are not yet registered as voters.
However, people who registered for the National Identity Cards will not be required to register again.
“Persons who registered during the mass enrolment for issuance of national identity Cards, and were successfully verified as Ugandan citizens, will not be required to register again during the update exercise,” Mr Biribonwa said.
Early this year, Parliament passed the Registration of Persons Bill, 2014, into law and the President subsequently assented to it. Among other things, the law provides for the mandatory registration of citizens of Uganda, the establishment of a national Identification Register and a National Registration and Identification Authority.
It empowers the EC to use the information contained in the national identification register to compile, maintain, revise and update the national voters’ register.
road map to the 2016 elections
Schedule of events. Here are the electoral events and their corresponding dates as released yesterday in the Electoral Commission’s revised 2015-2016 elections road map.
See illustration of 2016 Election Road Map here
SOURCE: Daily Monitor