Parliament has granted extra three months to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee to conclude public hearings and its scrutiny of Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2019 which seeks to introduce a number of reforms.
The bill that is sponsored by the opposition was tabled before Parliament by Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja for its first reading on behalf of the Shadow Attorney-General Wilfred Niwagaba.
The Bill was referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth for perusal and report back to parliament within 45 days stipulated under the Parliament Rules of Procedure.
According to the committee, the report on the constitution amendment Bill 2019 won’t be ready for debate by the house within the stipulated period of time.
Kitagwenda County MP Abbas Mugisha Agaba who represented the committee requested for more time during the session chaired by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga saying that 45 constitutional days required to process the bill won’t be enough.
Agaba said that the committee still needs to consult more citizens in the country so as to table a credible report to Parliament.
He however said that the committee has finalized processing reports on other bill and are ready to be tabled before the house. These include; Local Amendment Bill, Electoral Amendment Bill 2019, Presidential election Amendment Bill, Political Parties Amendment Bill.
The object of the Bill is to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda in accordance with article 259 and 262 of the Constitution to among others increase the numbers of members of the Electoral Commission from seven to nine.
The Bill seeks to provide for the involvement of the Judicial Service Commission in appointment of members of the Electoral Commission as well as providing for the qualifications of a Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.
The Bill also seeks to remove representation of the army from Parliament; to provide for the leader of the opposition, Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General as ex-official members of Parliament.
It seeks to prohibit the appointment of Ministers from among members of Parliament; to provide for the office of the Speaker’s Panel.
The opposition also seeks to reinstate presidential term limits; to replace the office of Vice President with the office of Deputy of President; to repeal the office of Prime Minister; to allow political parties or organizations, or voters to challenge presidential elections.