Local council elections extended another 180 days

The tenure for Local Council 1 and 2, as well as Women Councils, has been prolonged by an additional 180 days, extending until early July 2024. This decision was formalized through the presentation of statutory instruments for the extension during a session held in the House on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

During the proceedings, Speaker Anita Among directed the Minister for Local Government to present the statutory instruments for approval, emphasizing that they had been endorsed by the Cabinet before the expiration of the initial term on January 5, 2024.

Speaker Among highlighted that, initially, on July 28, 2023, the government had introduced a statutory instrument to extend the term of office for six months, citing a lack of funds to conduct new elections at that time.

“The 180 days were to expire on 05 January 2024, prompting the minister to issue this extension on 29 December 2023 so that he was not caught up by time. The documents are fully gazetted and have been laid on table for retrospective approval,” Among said.

To avoid any time-related complications, the minister issued this extension on December 29, 2023, as the 180-day period was set to conclude on January 5, 2024. The relevant documents have been fully published in the gazette and laid on the table for retrospective approval.

The new statutory instruments, proposing the extension of the tenure for Local Councils and Women Councils, were presented on the House floor by Government Chief Whip Hon. Hamson Obua and Minister for Gender, Labour, and Social Development Hon. Betty Amongi, respectively.

However, Hon. Medard Sseggona (NUP, Busiro County East) raised objections to the new statutory instruments, asserting that a statutory instrument cannot alter the fundamental legislation, and the fixed term for Local Councils is stipulated at five years.

“Under no circumstances can a statutory instrument amend the principle legislation. The term of office for Local Councils is fixed at five years,” Sseggona said.

In response, the Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, clarified that the amendment allowing for the statutory instruments was made in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Local Government Act Cap 243.



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