Gov’t drops “discharge certificate” on independents

By Moses Kyeyune

Government has accepted to drop a clause in the Parliamentary Elections (amendment) Bill, 2019 which requires independents candidates to present a discharge certificate from their political parties.

This was after members on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament mounted pressure, castigating the provision as a witch hunt.

The committee is itself chaired by an Independent, Jacob Oboth Oboth of West Budama South.

The deputy attorney general Mwesigwa Rukutana conceded when MPs accused him and Justice Minister Kahinda Otafire of attempting to legislate against fundamental freedoms where members are free to quit.

However, the move to defeat a provision for independents to quit their parties at least a year to elections has failed and awaits debate in plenary.

The Committee yesterday started its hearing into five electoral reforms tabled by the government.

The bills largely seek to legislate for regulation of independent candidates.