Last Friday, a delegation of CCEDU leaders raided parliament and appeared before the Legal affairs committee of parliament to give their views on electoral reforms and proposed constitutional amendments.
The team was led by CCEDU ED Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana and National Coordinator Crispy Kaheru.
They made many proposals including the need to reduce the number of MPs. Entitled CCEDU Memorandum on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2015; their document suggested 21 cabinet ministers and 224 MPs.
They also called for retention of presidential age limit at 75 years. They also submitted on Articles 83 and 84 arguing that the right to recall an MP should remain with voters.
Flanked by 20 eminent CCEDU members, Kaheru told MPs that although the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2015 does not touch on the appointment of the Electoral Commission, it was critical to amend Article 60 (1) to provide for a transparent and public process of appointing EC bosses through an open process that includes adverts, interviews, parliamentary vetting and a final appointment by the President.
The CCEDU team argued that such a rigorous recruitment procedure is not only participatory but would also dispel any claims of bias. CCEDU described the proposed change of name of the Electoral Commission to “Independent Electoral Commission” as rather cosmetic.
“Beyond the designation of the Commission, the real autonomy of the EC must be found in the mode of its appointment, security of tenure of the Commissioners and their powers as well as its financial independence,” Kaheru noted.
Other CCEDU proposals include strengthening the funding mechanisms of the EC, strengthening the powers of the EC to manage and regulate aspects of elections such as security, candidates’ coverage in the media, conduct, use of money/resources in campaigns and the need to further secure the tenure of serving EC Commissioners.
Committee chair Stephen Tashobya commended CCEDU for submitting such a rich document adding that its contents would greatly enrich the committee’s final report.