The Government should expedite the process of introducing electoral reforms to be considered and passed before the 2021 general elections, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has reiterated.
Speaking during her Communication from the Chair at the State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 6 June 2019 at the Serena International Conference Centre Kampala, Kadaga said business transacted in the fourth session will be for a limited period because the road map for the elections has been released.
“Members are usually uncomfortable around this time and are focused on what happens in their constituencies,” said Kadaga.
The State of the Nation Address is an annual constitutional event in which the President of Uganda reports on the state of the nation, normally to mark the official opening of a parliamentary session.
The Speaker advised the Executive to submit to Parliament the business it deemed important within the first two months of the start of the fourth session so that it is processed by committees and later considered by the House.
“I urge the Leader of Government Business to expedite the process, especially the electoral reforms to be considered and passed in good time. Parliament should not be made to firefight and stampeded by late presentation of Bills by government,” said Kadaga.
She also reiterated that government should consider as a matter of urgency, the review of Article 82 of the Constitution, which concerns the Office of the Speaker of Parliament.
Kadaga noted that the article gives the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker the mandate as the only officials to preside over Parliament.
She said that since the 6th Parliament, legislators and members of the public have been engaged in the discussion and have proposed that the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker should be assisted by a speaker’s panel.
“In other jurisdictions, Speakers are supported by a panel of chairpersons. You have just met the member of the panel from the Kenya Senate and they assist in handling part of the work,” said Kadaga.