Youth leaders decry exorbitant election candidate nomination fees

Ahead of the 2026 general elections, youth leaders under their umbrella body, Multiparty Youth Forum have decried what they termed as  unjust electoral system including exorbitant nomination fees that have reduced youth engagement in leadership.

These among other proposal electoral reforms were presented to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affair Norbert Mao .

Key among the many proposed reforms, the leaders are seeking is an  amendment to reduce nomination fees for different offices including the Member of Parliament.

The chairman Multiparty Youth Forum Kirya Ismail said the fees are so unjust and cant be attained by youths hence sidelining them from standing for some of these elective positions.

"As young people we think shs3 million  is too much for us to participate in election, so to allow many young to participate lets reduce it to 500,000," said Kirya.

Kirya adds that government should regulate finances in elections saying candidates inject billions of money in campaigns, including "bribing" voters which the youth say is quite expensive.

"Honorable minister and commissioners present here, as young people, we are discouraged by what we see in election campaigns as many people are using alot of money . You  cant compete with someone who almost uses a billion shillings."

The voter turn up for local government which is held after presidential elections is usually low and these propose all elections be conducted the same day.

The youth have also made comments on the recently rolled out roadmap for the 2026 general election which they say is non-engaging.

The Electoral Commission represented by commissioner Stephen Tasobya said many of the proposed amendments are outside their mandate.

Tasobya however decried  the low funding and untimely release of funds by government which many times disrupts their plans

"Resource constraints on the part of government money doesn't come at the time we need it. By and large the money for elections comes actually by the time of elections so some of the activities are not done,"Tashobya said.

The Minister for Justice , Nobert Mao advised the youth to take some issues further to their representatives in parliament and promised to take some of the proposals to cabinet for consideration.

"I  will hand these proposals over to the Uganda Law Reform Commission which is currently assisting us to compile possible amendments because most of them have been talked about for a long time. So it shouldn't take a lot of time," Mao said.

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