Parliament Calls for Urgent Funding to Prepare for 2026 General Elections

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee has issued a pressing call for the government to allocate Shs756.988 billion to the Electoral Commission (EC) to kickstart preparations for the upcoming 2026 general elections.

The plea comes in response to alarming delays in the disbursement of funds necessary to execute the electoral roadmap, as highlighted by Hon. Robina Rwakoojo, the committee chairperson.

According to Rwakoojo, the EC’s planned activities for the initial and subsequent phases, scheduled for the 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 financial years respectively, require a total of Shs765.6268 billion. However, a meager Shs8.638 billion has been allocated thus far, leaving a substantial deficit that imperils the timely execution of crucial electoral processes.

“Many of the planned activities have statutory timelines and must be conducted in a sequential manner. Any further delays could compromise the integrity and fairness of the electoral process,” emphasized Rwakoojo.

The committee’s recommendation, presented during a plenary session chaired by Speaker Anita Among on Friday, April 12, 2024, urges the government to swiftly provide the additional funding to enable the EC to fulfill its statutory obligations before the scheduled general elections.

Furthermore, MPs addressed long-standing issues within the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, advocating for the fulfillment of previous commitments. This includes the provision of Shs11.16 billion, approved in 2017, aimed at enhancing the remuneration of the commission, which has yet to materialize.

In a bid to address the dire situation at the Law Development Centre (LDC), Rwakoojo tabled a request for Shs3.50 billion to cover outstanding allowances for part-time teachers.

Insufficient funding has forced LDC to suspend teaching activities at several campuses, adversely affecting legal education in various regions.

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Additionally, the committee greenlighted a budget allocation of Shs11.407 billion to recruit additional state attorneys. The move aims to alleviate the backlog of cases, acknowledging that the shortage of legal personnel has compromised the government’s representation in legal proceedings, resulting in adverse court rulings and financial penalties.

Highlighting the urgency of the matter, Hon. Joseph Ssewungu, representing Kalungu West County, emphasized the critical need for the government to heed the committee’s recommendations.

He underscored the detrimental consequences of understaffing in the legal sector, urging immediate action to address the pressing challenges faced by the justice system.

As the nation gears up for the 2026 general elections, the call for adequate funding and strategic interventions resonates as a vital imperative to safeguard the integrity and credibility of the electoral process and ensure equitable access to justice for all citizens.

 

 

 

 

The post Parliament Calls for Urgent Funding to Prepare for 2026 General Elections appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

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