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EC asks Parliament for Shs260bn for referendum on presidential term extension

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In December last year, Parliament voted on a controversial constitutional amendment that would see the presidential age limit lifted and length of a presidential tenure extended. Although the ruling NRM party took the day in the vote, the decision has since been challenged before the Constitutional Court.

The Electoral Commission is asking Parliament to allocate funds for a referendum on the extension of the presidential term of office from the current five to seven years despite the ongoing Constitutional Court battle challenging the amendments

At least UGX260 billion is required by the Electoral Commission to conduct the referendum in the financial year 2018/2019.

They included the extension of the term of office for all elective positions from five to seven years and lifting the cap on the presidential age.

The need for a referendum arose out of constitutional amendments that were approved by Parliament in December 2017.

Although the decision was finalised for legislators and local government leaders, the extension of the presidential term, requires approval from the rest of the population.

Electoral Commission chairperson Simon Byabakama told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament that the money is not catered for in the next financial year’s Budget.

Byabakama had appeared to present the commission’s budget for the coming financial year 2018/2019.

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