Hon. Niwagaba Wilfred (Ndorwa County East) has Thursday presented a motion seeking leave of Parliament to introduce a consolidated Private Member’s Bill titled “Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019”.
In his argument, Niwagaba said the Supreme Court has recommended the overhaul of the electoral law to align it with the dictates of free and fair elections.
In some of the amendments, Hon Niwagaba’s bill seeks to provide for the involvement of the Judicial Service Commission in the appointment of members of the Electoral Commission.
“Our proposal seeks to check the character and nature of Electoral Commission. We seek to establish proper democracy through fair and free elections,” he told the house.
Hon Niwagaba says the bill he seeks to bring to the house will necessitate the Judicial Service Commission to be involved in the appointment of officials of the Electoral Commission in a bid to make it Independent.
The Bill also seeks to prohibit the appointment of ministers from among members of Parliament.
Hon Niwagaba’s bill also seeks to provide for the leader of the opposition, attorney general and deputy attorney general as ex-officio members of parliament.
The bill further seeks for the reinstatement of presidential terms limits, replace the office of vice president with the office of the deputy president and repeal the office of Prime minister.
The motion that seconded by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Hon Betty Ocan Aol is for a bill that also provides for the leader of the opposition to be the leader of the political party of organisation in opposition to the government having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament.
Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi [Butambala County] talking noted: “we need to legitimize our democracy.”
He observed that this is a time to present amendments that will usher in free and fair elections.
Hon. Mwesigwa Rukutana (Deputy Attorney General) said that the motion seeking leave to introduce a PMB titled the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019, should have a certificate of Financial Implication attached to it.
Rukutana noted that Parliament adopted a recommendation to have constitution amendments reviewed by the Constitutional Review Commission.
He said government is in the final stages of setting up this commission.
Niwagaba’s bill seeks to amend articles 119 and 119A of the Constitution to provide for the appointment of both the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission with the approval of Parliament.
The bill seeks to amend article 61(3) of the Constitution to require the Electoral Commission to whenever practicable hold presidential elections on the same day as general parliamentary and local government council elections.
Rukutana insisted the intended bill has financial implications and that the Speaker should rule that it would be wrong to proceed on the motion as it “offends provisions of the constitution”.
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah told the house he will study the concerns raised by either side and give a ruling that will guide the debate on the motion.