The Electoral Commission has deferred the election of representatives of professional bodies to Kampala Capital City Authority until parliament gazettes the regulations for their appointment.
In a July 22, letter Badru Kiggundu, the Chairperson Electoral Commission says the election of the four professional body councilors cannot be conducted in the absence of the regulations for their appointment.
The Electoral Commission has also rejected the regulations fronted by Frank Tumwebaze, the minister in charge of Kampala to guide the polls saying they are not gazetted by parliament.
The proposed regulations were allegedly drafted by Muruli Mukasa, the former minister in charge of Kampala but he didn’t countersign on them. Despite the fact that the regulations were tabled before parliament, they are yet to be approved.
Kiggundu’s letter is in response to a directive by Tumwebaze to Electoral Commission to conduct elections of the professional body councilors at a date not later than 1st August 2013.
However, Kiggundu says the minister has no powers to direct Electoral Commission on when the elections should be carried out. He says the directive is unconstitutional as the commission derives its independence from article 62 of the constitution which states that the commission shall be independent and not subject to any direction or control of any person or authority.
In another development, Uganda Law society, one of the professional bodies expected to elect a representative have distanced itself from the process.
In a July 25th letter signed by Nicholas Opio, the ULS general secretary, the society contests the manner in which the regulations were put in place. ULS also contends that the articles on the election of professional body councilors are vague and unclear. ULS also argues that regulation 4 (1) & (2) of the KCCA [election of professional bodies] regulation of statutory instrument number 39 of 2012 is unclear as to the voting body for the purposes of the election.
ULS argues that section provides for two conflicting definitions of an electoral college for the purposes of the election. It argues that section (1) appears to suggest that the Electoral College shall consist of voting members of the prescribed body, while sub section (2) suggests that the Electoral College shall consist of the governing council. ULS argues that it has representation to other statutory bodies such as Uganda Communications Commission, Capital markets authority, and the judicial service commission, who are all elected by the general assembly and not executive council.
ULS therefore says they will not be party to attempts to undermine their own constitution. Frank Tumwebaze, the minister in charge of Kampala has not yet commented on the new development as he couldn’t be reached by our reporter as his known mobile number was switched off.
Tumwebaze has been under pressure to have four professional body councilors elected after a high court ruling held that the authority is not fully constituted to remove Elias Lukwago, the KCCA lord mayor.