Constitution:Chapter 6 - The Legislature

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Contents

[edit] Establishment, Composition and Functions of Parliament

[edit] The Parliament of Uganda

77. (1) There shall be a Parliament of Uganda.

(2) The composition and functions of Parliament shall be as prescribed by this Constitution.

(3) The term of Parliament shall be five years from the date of its first sitting after a general election.

(4) Where there exists a state of war or a state of emergency which would prevent a normal general election from being held, Parliament may, by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of all members of Parliament, extend the life of Parliament for a period not exceeding six months at a time.

[edit] Composition of Parliament

78. (1) Parliament shall consist of-

  • (a) members directly elected to represent constituencies;
  • (b) one woman representative for every district
  • (c) such numbers of representatives of the army, youth, workers, persons with disabilities and other groups as Parliament may determine; and
  • (d) the Vice-President and Ministers, who, if not already elected members of Parliament, shall be ex-official members of Parliament without the right to vote on any issue requiring a vote in Parliament.

(2) Upon the expiration of a period of ten years after the commencement of this Constitution and thereafter, every five years, Parliament shall review the representation under paragraphs (b) and (c) of clause (1) of this article for the purposes of retaining, increasing, or abolishing any such representation and any other matter incidental to it.

(3) The representatives referred to in paragraph (a) of clause (1) of this article shall be elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage and by secret ballot.

(4) Parliament shall, by law, prescribe the procedure for elections of representatives referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) of clause (1) of this article.

[edit] Functions of Parliament

79 (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament shall have power to make laws on any matter for the peace, order, development and good governance of Uganda.

(2) Except as provided in this Constitution, no person or body other than Parliament shall have power to make provisions having the force of law in Uganda except under authority conferred by an Act of Parliament

(3) Parliament shall protect this Constitution and the democratic governance of Uganda

[edit] Qualification and disqualification of members of Parliament

80. (1) A person is qualified to be a Member of Parliament that person- (a) is a citizen of Uganda; (b) is a registered voter; and (c) has completed a minimum formal education of Advanced Level standard or its equivalent.

(2) A person is not qualified for election as a Member of Parliament if that person- (a) is of unsound mind; (b) is holding or acting in an office the functions of which involve a responsibility for or in connection with the conduct of an election; (c) is a traditional or cultural leader as defined in clause (12) of article 246 of this Constitution. (d) has been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Uganda and has not beer, discharged; or (e) is under a sentence of death or a sentence of imprisonment exceeding nine months imposed by any competent court without the option of a fine.

(3) A person elected to Parliament when he or she is a member of a local government council or holds a public office shall resign the office before assuming the office of Member of Parliament.


[edit] Election of Members of Parliament

81. (1) A general election of members of Parliament shall be held within thirty days before the expiration of the term Parliament.

(2) Whenever a vacancy exists in Parliament, the Clerk to Parliament shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing within ten days after the vacancy has occurred; and a by-election shall be held within sixty days after the vacancy has occurred;

(3) Notwithstanding clause (2) of this article, a by-election shall not be held within six months before the holding a general election of Parliament.

(4) Every person elected to Parliament shall take and subscribe the oath of all twice and the oath of Member of Parliament specified in the oath schedule to this Constitution.

(5) Except for the purpose of taking the oaths referred to in clause (4) of this article, no person shall sit or vote in Parliament before taking and subscribing the oaths.

[edit] Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament

82. (l) There shall be a Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

(2) The Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall be elected by members of Parliament from among their number.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to be elected a Speaker or Deputy Speaker if he or she is a Vice-President or a Minister.

(4) Subject to clause (4) of article 81 of this Constitution, no business shall be transacted in Parliament other than an election to the office of Speaker at any time that office is vacant.

(5) The Chief Justice or a Judge designated by the Chief Justice shall preside at an election of a Speaker and the Speaker shall preside at an election of the Deputy Speaker.

(6) An election to the office of Deputy Speaker shall be held at the first sitting of Parliament after that office becomes vacant.

(7) The Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall vacate his or her:-

  • (a) if he or she is appointed to any public office;
  • (b) if he or she becomes a Minister;
  • (c) if he or she resigns his or her office by writing signed by him or her addressed to the Clerk to Parliament;
  • (d) if he or she ceases to be a member of Parliament; or
  • (e) if he or she is removed by resolution of Parliament supported by not less than two-thirds of all members of Parliament.

(8) The Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall receive such salaries, allowances and gratuities as may be prescribed by Parliament.

(9) The salaries, allowances and gratuities of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

(10) The Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall each, before assuming the duties of office take and subscribe the oath of Speaker or Deputy Speaker specified in the Fourth Schedule to this Constitution.

[edit] Tenure of office of members of Parliament

83. (1) A Member of Parliament shall vacate his or her seat in Tenure of Parliament-

  • (a) if he or she resigns his or her office in writing signed by him or her and addressed to the Speaker;
  • (b) if such circumstances arise that if that person were not a member of Parliament would cause that person to be disqualified for election as a member of Parliament under article 80 of this Constitution;
  • (c) subject to the provisions of this Constitution, upon dissolution of Parliament;
  • (d) if that person is absent from fifteen sittings of Parliament without permission in writing of the Speaker during any period when Parliament is continuously meeting and is unable to offer satisfactory explanation to the relevant Parliamentary Committee for his or her absence;
  • (e) if that person is found guilty by the appropriate tribunal of violation of the Leadership Code of Conduct and the punishment imposed is or includes the vacation of the office of a member of Parliament;
  • (f) if recalled by the electorate in his or her constituency in accordance with this Constitution;
  • (g) if that person leaves the political party for which he or she stood as a candidate for election to Parliament to join another party or to remain in Parliament as an independent member;
  • (h) if, having been elected to Parliament as an independent candidate, that person joins a political party;
  • (i) if that person is appointed a public officer.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraphs (g) and (h) of clause (1) of this article, membership of a coalition government of which his or her original political party forms part shall not affect the status of any Member of Parliament.

(3) The provisions of paragraphs (g) and (h) of clause (1) and of clause (2) of this article shall only apply during any period when the multi-party system of government is in operation.

[edit] Right of recall

84. (1) Subject to the provisions of this article, the electorate of any constituency and of any interest group referred to in article 78 of this Constitution have the right to recall their Member of Parliament before the expiry of the term of Parliament.

(2) A member of Parliament may be recalled from that office on any of the following grounds:-

  • (a) physical or mental incapacity rendering that member incapable of performing the functions of the office; or
  • (b) misconduct or misbehaviour likely to bring hatred, ridicule, contempt or disrepute to the office; or
  • (c) persistent deserting of the electorate without reasonable cause.

(3) The recall of a member of Parliament shall be initiated by a petition in writing setting out the grounds relied on and signed by at least two-thirds of the registered voters of the constituency or of the interest group referred to in clause (1) of this article, and shall be delivered to the Speaker.

(4) On receipt of the petition referred to in clause (3) of this article, the Speaker shall, within seven days require the Electoral Commission to conduct a public inquiry into the matters alleged in the petition and the Electoral Commission shal1 expeditiously conduct the necessary inquiry and report its findings to the Speaker.

(5) The Speaker shall-

  • (a) declare the seat vacant, if the Electoral Commission reports that it is satisfied from the inquiry, with the genuineness of the petition; or
  • (b) declare immediately that the petition was unjustified, if the Commission reports that it is not satisfied with the genuineness of the petition.

(6) Subject to the provisions of clause (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this article, Parliament shall, by law prescribe the procedure to be followed for the recall of a Member of Parliament.

[edit] Emoluments of Members of Parliament

85. (1) A Member of Parliament shall be paid such emoluments such gratuity and shall be provided with such facilities as may determined by Parliament.

(2) A Member of Parliament shall not hold any office of profit or emolument likely to compromise his or her office.

[edit] Determination of questions of membership

86. (1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether-

  • (a) a person has been validly elected a member of Parliament or the seat of a member of Parliament has become vacant; or
  • (b) a person has been validly elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker or having been so elected, has vacated that office.

(2) A person aggrieved by the determination of the High Court under this article may appeal to the Court of Appeal.

(3) Parliament shall, by law make provision with respect to-

  • (a) the persons eligible to apply to the High Court for determination of any question under this article; and
  • (b) the circumstances and manner in which and the conditions upon which any such application may be made.

[edit] Clerk to parliament and other staff

87. There shall be a public officer designated Clerk to Parliament appointed by the President in consultation with the Public Service Commission and such other members of staff as may be necessary for the efficient discharge of the functions of Parliament.

[edit] Procedure of Parliament

[edit] Quorum of Parliament

88. (1) The quorum of Parliament shall be one-third of all members of Parliament. (2) The quorum prescribed by clause (1) of this article shall be required at a time when Parliament is voting on any question. (3) Rules of procedure of Parliament shall prescibe the quorum of Parliament for the conduct of business of Parliament other than for voting.

[edit] Voting in Parliament

89. (1) Except as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution or any law consistent with this Constitution, any question proposed for decision of Parliament shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting.

(2) The person presiding in Parliament shall have neither an original nor a casting vote and if on any question before Parliament the votes are equally divided the motion shall be lost.

[edit] Committees of Parliament

90. (1) Parliament shall appoint standing committees and other committees necessary for the efficient discharge of its functions.

(2) The following shall apply with respect to the composition of the committees of Parliament- (a) the members of standing committees shall be elected from among members of Parliament during the first session of Parliament; (b) the rules of procedure of Parliament shall prescribe the manner in which the members and chairpersons of the committees are to be elected

(3) The functions of standing committees shall include following- (a) to discuss and make recommendations on all bills laid before Parliament; (b) to initiate any bill within their respective areas of competence; (c) to assess and evaluate activities of Government and other bodies; (d) to carry out relevant research in their respective fields; and (e) to report to Parliament on their functions.

(4) In the exercise of their functions under this article, committees of Parliament- (a) may call any Minister or any person holding public office and private individuals to submit memoranda or appear before them to give evidence; (b) may co-opt any member of Parliament or employ qualified persons to assist them in the discharge of their functions; (c) shall have the powers of the High Court for- (i) enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise; (ii) compelling the production of documents; and (iii) issuing a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.

[edit] Exercise of legislative powers

91. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the power of Parliament to make laws shall be exercised through bills passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.

(2) A bill passed by Parliament shall, as soon as possible, be presented to the President for assent.

(3) The President shall, within thirty days after a bill is presented to him or her- (a) assent to the bill; or (b) return the bill to Parliament with a request that the bill or a particular provision of it be reconsidered by Parliament; or (c) notify the Speaker in writing that he or she refuses to assent to the bill.

(4) Where a bill has been returned to Parliament under paragraph (b) of clause (3) of this article, Parliament shall reconsider it and if passed again, it shall be presented for a second time to the President for assent.

(5) Where the President returns the same bill twice under paragraph (b) of clause (3) of this article and the bill is passed for the third time, with the support of at least two-thirds of all members of Parliament, the Speaker shall cause a copy of the bill to be laid before Parliament and the bill shall become law without the assent of the President.

(6) Where the President-

  • (a) refuses to assent to a bill under paragraph (c) of clause (3) of this article, Parliament may reconsider the bill and if passed, the bill shall be presented to the President for assent;
  • (b) refuses to assent to a bill which has been reconsidered and passed under paragraph (a) of this clause or under clause (4) of this article, the Speaker shall, upon the refusal, if the bill was so passed with the support of at least two-thirds of all members of Parliament, cause a copy of the bill to be laid before Parliament and the bill shall become law without the assent of the President.

(7) Where the President fails to do any of the acts specified in clause (3) of this article within the period prescribed in that clause, the President shall be taken to have assented to the bill and at the expiration of that period, the Speaker shall cause a copy of the bill to be laid before Parliament and the bill shall become law without the assent of the President.

(8) A bill passed by Parliament and assented to by the President or which has otherwise become law under this article hall be an Act of Parliament and shall be published in the Gazette.

[edit] Restriction on retrospective legislation

92. Parliament shall not pass any law to alter the decision or judgement of any court as between the parties to the decision or on judgement.

[edit] Restriction on Financial matters

93. Parliament shall not, unless the bill or the motion is introduced on behalf of the Government- (a) proceed upon a bill, including an amendment bill, that makes provision for any of the following-

  • (i) the imposition of taxation or the alteration of taxation otherwise than by reduction; or
  • (ii) the imposition of a charge on the Consolidated Fund or other public fund of Uganda or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction; or
  • (iii) the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund or other public fund of Uganda of any moneys not charged on that fund or any increase in the amount of that payment, issue or withdrawal; or
  • (iv) the composition or remission of any debt due to the Government of Uganda; or

(b) proceed upon a motion, including an amendment to a motion, the effect of which would be to make provision for any of the purposes specified in paragraph (a) of this article.

[edit] Rules of Procedure in Parliament

94.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make rules to regulate its own procedure including the procedure of its committees.

(2) Parliament may act notwithstanding a vacancy in its membership.

(3) The presence or the participation of a person not entitled to be present or to participate in the proceedings of Parliament shall not by itself, invalidate those proceedings.

(4) The rules of procedure of Parliament shall include the following provisions- (a) the Speaker shall determine the order of business in Parliament and shall give priority to Government business; (b) a member of Parliament has the right to move a private member's bill; (c) the member moving the private member's bill shall be afforded reasonable assistance by the department of Government whose area of operation is affected by the bill; and (d) the office of the Attorney-General shall afford the member moving the private member's bill professional assistance in the drafting of the bill.

[edit] Sessions of Parliament

95. (1) Where a new Parliament is elected, the President shall, by proclamation, appoint the place and a date not beyond seven days after the expiry of the term of Parliament or of the extended period, as the case may be, for the first sitting of the new Parliament.

(2) A session of Parliament shall be held at such place in Uganda and shall commence at such time as the Speaker by proclamation, appoint.

(3) The Speaker may, after consultation with the President, prorogue Parliament by proclamation.

(4) A session of Parliament shall be held at least once a but the period between one session and the next following session shall be less than twelve months.

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, at least one-third of all members of Parliament may, in writing signed by them, request a meeting of Parliament; and the speaker shall summon Parliament to meet within twenty-one days after receipt of the request.

[edit] Dissolution of Parliament

96. Parliament shall stand dissolved upon the expiration of its term as prescribed by article 77 of this Constitution.

[edit] General

[edit] Parliamentary immunities and privileges

97. (1) The Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, members of Parliament any other person participating or assisting in or acting in connection with or reporting the proceedings of Parliament or any of its committees shall be entitled to such immunities and privileges as Parliament shall by law prescribe.

(2) Notwithstanding article 41 of this Constitution, no member or officer of Parliament and no person employed to take minutes of evidence before Parliament or any committee of Parliament shall give evidence elsewhere in respect of the contents of such minutes of evidence or the contents of any document laid before Parliament or any such committee, as the case may be, or in respect of any proceedings or examination held before Parliament or such committee, without the special leave of Parliament first obtained.

(3) The special leave referred to in clause (2) of this article may, during a recess or adjournment of Parliament, be given by the Speaker or in the absence or incapacity of the Speaker or during a dissolution of Parliament, by the Clerk to Parliament.

[edit] Internal links

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