SSENYONYI WARNS ON LOWER COUNCIL ELECTIONS AS EC CALLS FOR AMENDMENT OF THE LAW

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The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Joel Ssenyonyi has warned the government against disregarding matters to do with local leadership.

This is after the Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi yesterday announced another extension of the term of office for Local Council 1 and 2 chairpersons for another three months, from January, 6th 2024.

Magyezi said this was due to lack of funding and the pending harmonization of all administrative units across the country.

In an interview with Endigyito radio, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury Ramadhan Ggoobi confirmed that funds meant for conducting local council elections had been re-allocated based on government priorities.

However, Ssenyonyi says that whoever was responsible for the re-allocation of these resources must make a formal explanation before parliament which appropriated the same.

Ssenyonyi said Parliament appropriated money for LC elections, but now they have reallocated that money to other priorities wondering who authorised reallocation.

He noted that the ministry must come to parliament and explain.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama has advised the government to consider amendments to the Local Government Act regulations to have the LC1 and 2 elections conducted during the general elections.

According to Justice Byabakama, the roadmap for the general elections under Article 61 Close 2 of the Constitution only points to the Presidential, Parliamentary, and Local Government elections and any elections for administrative units that are not under Article 61 of the Constitution will call for an amendment to the law.

Byabakama said elections for LC1 and 2 are not part of the general elections under Article 6 Close 1 of the Constitution which he says should be amended to include in the lower units elections which will ease its organisation.

This comes amid unconfirmed reports of plans by the government to have elections for both LC1 and 2 pushed to 2026 to minimise cost.

Yesterday, Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi announced another three-month extension of the term of office for LC 1 and 2 chairpersons due to lack of funds.

EC budgeted for close to Shs59 billion to hold elections for local councils at village and parish levels

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