The Electoral Commission (EC) has clarified that due to legal technicalities, the Local Council (LC) polls are on halt until the High Court disposes off the petition which blocked their being carried out.
Addressing the press recently, the EC Acting Chairperson, Aisha M. Lubega, said, “We are ready to do what the Constitution requires us to do, but our hands are tied by the courts of law. We had done our role and all programmes were going well until court stopped us, but we are ready to move on any time the court allows us.”
The EC had set December 14th, for Women Village LC elections and 21st for LC l1committee polls countrywide, however the program was halted by High Court on 13th after a student from Jinja, Allan Alibwani and a concerned citizen, James Tweheyo, challenged the activity, arguing that the programme was disenfranchising the students who were eligible to participate either as voters or as candidates.
The students were starting to sit their Higher School Certificate exams at the time the EC had set the polls.
The EC Secretary, Sam Rwakoojo, said that the planned total expense was UGX 15.9 billion. The EC has already spent UGX 9.42 billion meaning that it is remaining with UGX 6.48 billion. UGX 2.8 billion was to be spent on the Women LC and UGX 3.68 billion on LC ll. He added that since all activities which were already done shall have to be repeated the EC will need added funding.
Meanwhile, the EC has also clarified why Butebo districts (new district) has not held elections and formulate its governing team. “As the commission, we are free and we were ready to conduct the elections in Butebo District, however, as we were still in preparations, we received a letter from the Ministry of Local Government restraining us from holding the elections in Butebo because there is a lot of discrepancies between Butebo the new district and its neighboring districts on the issue of boundaries,” Rwakoojo said.