The Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda has rolled out a country wide public consultation campaign in relation to lining behind candidates during the upcoming LC elections.
Parliament passed the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2014 providing for lining up behind candidates during elections of chairpersons for village (LC1) and parish (LC2) levels.
The voting method will be a departure from what was provided for in the Local Government Act of universal adult suffrage through secret ballot.
The Bill provided that, “Election of village or cell council and parish or ward council chairperson shall be by the electorate lining behind the candidates nominated for the office, their representatives, portraits or symbols.”
Now the Citizen Coalition for Electoral democracy has spearheaded four countrywide public consultations in Central, western, Eastern and West Nile regions.
CCEDU Coordinator Crispy Kaheru says the consultations are aimed at enlisting people’s opinions on the proposed mode of election.
The Local Government Act, which mandates the Electoral Commission to organize, conduct and supervise elections of local councils, provides that elections at local government and administrative unit level shall be by secret ballot using one ballot box for all candidates.
The consultation exercise kicked off today and is expected to end on the 10th of March.
The date for the Local Council (LC) elections remains a mystery after the Electoral Commission (EC) insisted they cannot set the schedule unless the government releases the required funds.
The EC said setting the LC election date will be dependent on the time the government releases the money.
Whereas the EC, the body responsible for organizing elections, first budgeted Shs33 billion and revised the figure downwards to Shs15.9 billion following a hard bargain, Finance minister Matia Kasaija said he would provide Shs10b as Cabinet decided.
However, Parliament has approved the Shs15.9b for the polls.
In November last year, during the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Joint Sector Review workshop at the President’s Office, the Minister of State for Housing, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, stated: “The Cabinet and EC are all aware of the President’s directive to hold LC1 and LC2 elections in January next year  and the budget is ready– about Shs 37 billion far below the one that was suggested to cater for secret ballot– about Shs550 billion.”