By Kabuye Ronald
Youths under the umbrella of Crusaders 4 Free & Fair Elections have urged all Ugandans to resist the proposed amendments in the presidential elections act.
The youth claim that the amendments are against fundamental principles of justice thus requesting all Ugandans to task their area legislators to explain whether these proposals are among those they suggested.
The youths groups who include The Alternative Social Movement, Uganda Young Democrats (UYD), The Jobless Brotherhood and Concerned Ugandans demand for reconsideration of the Citizens Compact for Electoral Reforms because they capture and represent Ugandans’ views on election.
The youths who addressed a press conference at Speke hotel today also allege that government wants to table other four amendment proposes in an ambush manner which include The Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Political party and Organization(Amendment) Bill, 2019 and The Parliamentary Election (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Led by Norman Tumuhimbise of the Alternative and Robert Mayanja of the Jobless brotherhood they asserted that some of the clauses aim at closing young people out of competitive politics of the country thus highlighting ; clause 2 (c) (i & viii), clause 9A, 1a, b & c, clause 6 b4 ii clause 4, of the Presidential Election Bill, 2019.
“The Bill proposes to prohibit the obtaining, soliciting or receiving any financial or other assistance from any foreign Government, institution, body or person which or who has demonstrated an intention to overthrow the lawfully established Government of Uganda, or to endanger the security of Uganda and from organizations that have been declared terrorist organizations. The Bill is conspicuously silent on matter of commercialization of politics despite it being one of the biggest threats to democracy in the country. We hope that in the future there will be legislation to stem out the bad effects of commercialized politics”
They claim that as a generation, they think that, the disconnect from the citizenry in the process given the known habit of bribes for unpopular laws, is why they got the bills from their internal allies,with the intention of awakening peoples’ interest in the processes that must give the country a free and fair elections.The provision is likely to face challenges for failure to impose a limit on how much a candidate may spend during the election. The provision only deals with campaign financing and does not impose any restrictions on the amount a person may spend.
They say in most countries that have campaign financing laws, the laws impose spending cap.
“We have also learnt that, even when the government first dismissed claims of blocking smart phones and cameras on polling stations, we are reliable informed that it is coming up in the new amendments.The bill also proposes to block any convergence and gathering of more than two people on the polling station after casting the vote until counting time.Whoever is dreaming of contesting as an independent, forget because the new amendments seek to block you unless you ceased to be a member of any political party twelve month ago, so you should count from now to nomination date how many months are remaining?It is also said that, the bill proposes that; there shall be no broadcasting of election results from polling stations by private media houses apart from the ones released by EC and government owned media” they further claimed