Parliament Lifts Age Limit for LCIII Councilors

Parliament has passed an amendment to the Local Government Act, removing the lower and upper age limit for lower local council leaders.

The act initially capped the age for contestants for LCIII chairperson positions, sub-county, municipal or city division level at 30 and 75. As a result, several aspirants have been blocked by the Electoral Commission, in the ongoing nomination exercise.

But during a sitting held this evening, parliament suspended a rule that requires that a bill should be brought back to the house after 14 days from the day it was published and the requirement that a bill should be sent to the committee for scrutiny for a maximum of 45 days, to consider the amendment before the Commission closes the nomination window.

Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi told parliament that the law, as it stood, did not allow anyone below 30 and those above 75, to contest for the lower council positions. Magyezi asked the MPs to approve the bill in the same spirit that the Presidential age limit was removed.

But Soroti County MP Kenneth Esiagu said that the bill was too late because several people have already been turned away, and frustrated for being underaged.  He proposed that Parliament should now compel the Electoral Commission to consider nominating those who missed out.

The bill had provided for one-third of the council to be reserved for women and also to ensure that each woman councillor represents one sub-county instead of the two or three sub-counties that they currently have. But this was rejected by the MPs.

The MPs also proposed that the Electoral Commission should extend the nomination deadline for the local councillors. The bill will now be sent to the President for assent.

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