Presidential candidates EC campaign money scrapped  

A voter holds a ballot while waiting in line at a polling station in Uganda's capital Kampala on February 18, 2011 to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections. Some 14 million voters started voting on February 18 in polls widely predicted to return long-time leader Yoweri Museveni to power, with a fragmented opposition crying foul even before the ballot.   AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

A Ugandan voter carries a ballot paper in Kampala.

The Electoral Commission will not give presidential candidates a single coin to fund their campaigns.

This is contained in the Presidential Elections Amendment Bill 2015 passed by parliament last evening.

Any person who wishes to stand for the presidency has to fund their own campaigns, members resolved.

Government had proposed to increase facilitation provided to a candidate under the Presidential Elections Act from the Shs 20m to Shs 50m.

However, Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto, suggested that the amendment be scrapped to stop wasting taxpayers’ money on people who have turned the presidential race into a money making venture.

Otto told the house that since the Political Parties and Organizations Act already provides for funding for political parties, it would be prudent that all candidates are catered for under this wing and the incidences of independents dealt with.

In a session chaired by deputy speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, Parliament adopted Otto’s suggestion that the electoral commission should not give presidential candidates any money to use in campaign like it has always been.

Parliament also adopted the legal committee proposal to increase a Parliamentary candidate nomination fees from Shs 200,000 to Shs 3m.

Parliament resolved that presidential candidates to pay Shs 20m up from Shs 8m to reduce the number of jokers who seek the presidency.

However, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Wafula Oguttu, said it was “so sad that we decided to pass a law that only favours ourselves in terms of aspirant fees of an MP”.

Voting time will start from 7am to 4pm; parliament rejected the legal committee’s proposal to maintain closing time at 5pm.

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