PPC missing it on $50,000 registration fees should worry us about electoral preparedness

PPC missing it on $50,000 registration fees should worry us about electoral preparedness

On April 25, 2024, a group of opposition parties sent a petition to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs seeking to have a legal opinion over the registration fees adduced.

The parties had opposed the $50,000 demanded by the Political Parties Council and had promised a bruising legal battle if the Council would not rescind the decision.

On Monday, the Ministry of justice and Constitutional Affairs gave its verdict declaring the process of capping the fees irregular as it was not based on the Regulations signed by the PPC chairperson, currently, Mr James Akol.

The ministry observed as follows: “As a result, the determination of this issue is very simple because the Political Parties Council Regulations, 2015 (Amendment) Regulations, 2024, have not yet been signed into regulations by the Chairperson of the Political Parties Council,” it stated.

“Therefore, the regulations that should have governed this issue of $75,000.00 registration and licensing fees for the political parties are the Political Parties Council Regulations, 2015, and not the one that is still under amendment and not yet signed into regulations, as stated in the letter.

“Therefore, the decision “in question is null and void as it was based on the regulations still under amendment and not signed into regulations as required under Section 18(e) of the Political Parties Act, 2012, as amended. The said decision should have been based on the Political Parties Council Regulations,” it then concluded.

With the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs exposing the pitfalls within the policy formulation and adherence by the PPC, the big question is: whose fault, is it?

Did the PPC leadership consult with the relevant government institutions charged with giving legal advice on the matter before making the decision? Did the leadership seek the council of the counsels with its ranks, from the attorney general or the Ministry of Justice before making the decision? Finally, what does this say about our decision-making processes in these crucial institutions that are preparing for elections? With these issues unfixed, we risk having a sham election. The voting process may be transparent but if the other processes are not in conformity with the law, the whole process might end up being a sham.

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