Gov’t rejects political parties budget

The Electoral Commission (EC) budget for funding of political parties has been rejected, implying that for the second year running, political parties will not be funded as per the provisions of the Political Parties and Organisations Act (PPOA).

The EC had put in a budget proposal of Shs10 billion in its 2019/2020 budget for political parties which the treasury has rejected.

Funding for Political parties is provided for under Section 14 of the PPOA.

EC chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama told members of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee funding for political parties is among the unfunded priorities under the EC with estimates indicating that the institution is likely to receive a paltry Shs 88.5 billion of the more than Shs628.6 billion funding request.

This will create a funding gap of more than Shs 540.2 billion.

To prepare for the 2021 general elections, EC had requested for Shs 428.8 billion  but will receive Shs 986 million leaving funding gap of more than Shs 427.8 billion.

For upcoming by-elections, government has approved Shs3.049 billion and Shs 450 million for the National Consultative Forum.

Meanwhile, the EC has warned against the creation of more administrative units as it is likely distort the smooth flow of electoral activities ahead of the 2021 general elections.

“These districts need to be operationalised for the Commission to effectively implement electoral activities as over the road map. According to the EC Roadmap, Government is advised not to create new districts and administrative units after September 2018 for purposes of proper planning and smooth implementation,” Byabakama said.

The EC recently called off elections in the newly created districts of Nabitatuk, Bugweri, Kassanda, Kwania, Kapelebyong and Kikuube were meant to have come into effect on July 1,2018.

An additional seven districts are meant to come into effect on July 1 this year. These include; Obongi, Lusot, Karenga, Kitagwenda, Madi-Okollo, Rwampara and Kazo all of which require more than Shs 11.7 billion to operationalise.

” The Commission is constrained and will not be in position to commence electoral activities in these districts at the same time with the rest of the country,” Byabakama said.