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HomeAHEAD OF 2026AHEAD OF 2026: Byabakama's Term At Electoral Commission Ends As Museveni Ponders...

AHEAD OF 2026: Byabakama’s Term At Electoral Commission Ends As Museveni Ponders On Renewing It

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The term of office of the current Electoral Commission in Uganda has ended ahead of the 2026 General election after a seven year tenure handed to them by president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on January 7, 2017.

These replaced Eng Badru Kigundu who was at the helm of the elections body for 14 years having presided over the 2006, 2011 and 2016 general elections. Kigundu has since moved on to other tasks and is serving on a seven member committee whom president Museveni in August 2016 appointed to oversee the completion of two mega hydro-electric dams of Isimba and Karuma.

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The commissioners at the elections term whose contract ended yesterday include Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, Hajjat Aisha Lubega who is Byabakama’s vice Chairperson, Justine Ahabwe Mugabi (Commissioner), Mustapha Ssebagala Kigozi (Commissioner), Nathaline Etomaru (Commissioner), Peter Emorut (Commissioner) and Stephen Tashobya who is also a commissioner who have presided over several by-elections preceding from the 2016 general elections, the 2021 General Elections and the by-elections arising out of the 2021 general elections.

In Uganda the laws give the president (who is also ever a candidate) in the general elections to appoint the commissioners to preside over elections where he battles with other candidates who don’t appoint, it’s a player appointing the referee and linesmen situation. This not only undermines fairness but also the independence of the elections body.

Paul Bukenya, the spokesperson for the Electoral Commission addressed the press yesterday afternoon stating that “What we have now is the end of the term of office of the current commission, What happens next is a matter before the appointment authority (President)”

Under Article 60 of the 1995 constitution, the Electoral Commission is constituted by the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and five other members appointed by the president with approval of parliament, along with a secretariat headed by the Secretary who is Mulekwah Leonard.

According to the constitution, “the members of the Commission shall hold office for seven years, and their appointment may be renewed for one more term only”. And as of today morning, the Electoral commission remains in suspense and has not received a renewal letter from president Museveni.

Ahead of the 2026 general elections where president Museveni has already indicated will be a candidate to push his grip to power for another five years to make it 45 years of Museveni and his rule, the Byabakama led commission  had already rolled out out the roadmap for the 2026 elections.

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