EC: No funding for political parties in new financial year

Nile Post News

Nile Post News

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Government hasn’t provided funding for political party activities in the 2018/2019 financial year, the parliamentary and legal affairs committee heard on Friday.

Section 14A of the Political Parties and Organisation Act, 2005 requires government to contribute funds or other public resources towards the activities of political parties or organisations that have representation in Parliament.

However, government only started funding political parties in the 2014/2015 financial year to the current financial year. In the 2017/18 Financial year, government only provided the political parties Shs 7.5 billion out of the Shillings 10 billion that was budgeted for.

The Electoral Commission Secretary, Sam Rwakoojo, said no provision has been made for political party funding in the Medium- Term Expenditure Framework in the 2018/19 financial year.

He however explained that the Commission had budgeted Shs 10 billion to be shared among the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) based on their numerical strength in parliament.

Rwakoojo noted that they presented a budget of Shs 189 billion but only Shs 64 billion has been provided leaving a funding gap of Shs 124 billion.

“Other unfunded priorities include Voter Education, creation of new districts and administrative units without budgets and relocation of Commission Headquarters.,” he said.

Richard Todwong, the NRM deputy secretary general, said government cannot fail to provide money for political party activities.

“They cannot fail to have this money, because it plays a very important role in multiparty politics. Since they are still in the budgeting process, we hope they will push for the money,” Todwong said.

Jacob Oboth Oboth, the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairperson questioned the underfunding of the Electoral Commission. He however, noted that the political parties must account for the money they receive from government.

Source: URN

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