Why EC Rejected calls to extend LC1 Voter Registration Exercise

Posted: 2017-11-02T07:49:16Z
Why EC Rejected calls to extend LC1 Voter Registration Exercise

The Electoral Commission would need between Shillings 600 million and 1 Billion to extend the deadline for registration of voters in the lower local council polls just for a day, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama has revealed.

Justice Byabakama was Wednesday appearing before legislators on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth who asked him to consider extending the registration exercise.

In August, Electoral Commission released a roadmap for the compilation of the register for voters for the village, parish, Sub county, town council, municipal, Division and district levels.

According to the roadmap, the registration of voters started on October 26th and ended on October 30th, 2017. The elections are scheduled to take place on November 14th, 2017 in over 5000 villages countrywide. However, there are concerns that many people missed on the exercise prompting some legislators to request the Commission to extend the exercise.

Legislators argued that the five days provided for the voter registration and another two for the voter register display were inadequate, with Muhammad Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP, explaining that the days allocated for the exercise rendered about one million students of voting age ineligible to stand or vote in the upcoming elections.

"You should extend the time for registration and display of voter's register; and do more voter education or we shall have more conflicts during the election period," Nsereko said. Medard Lubega Ssegona, the Busiro East MP wondered whether the Commission had conducted enough voter education ahead of the elections.

Justice Byabakama however rejected the request saying it would cost the Commission between Shillings 600 million and 1 Billion, which they don't have.

He said that extending the voter registration may be a good option but it has other ramifications, which the Commission can't handle.