Makerere Guild Administration moves to amend electoral laws

The current guild administration at Makerere University has proposed the amendment of the guild constitution and the election of the guild president.

The Guild President at Makerere University has time immemorial been elected through a universal suffrage system where all registered university students elect a new students leader at the country’s oldest higher institution of learning.

In a Memorandum drafted by the Justice and Constitutional Affairs committee of the University guild, the new guild administration also wants the institution and operationalizing of the Guild tribunal and the improvement of resource allocation

“Most importantly, a number of lacunas have in recent years been identified in the constitution through the jurisprudence of the Makerere University Students’ Guild Tribunal[1] and interpretation of the Constitution through GRC sessions.[2] It should be noted that the Constitution is a living document. In other words, it must always stay alive to the changes in society as well as the values and aspirations of its subjects,” the guild Justice and Constitutional affairs committee justifies.

Now, the guild administration believes that the current electro system used to attain a new guild president is out dated and cannot enhance better leadership for the students and the administration at large.

The administration now wants the election of the guild president be an Electoral College vote and not adult suffrage. A candidate with the highest number of electoral votes wins it all.

The amendments suggest that either the university offers an even distribution of electoral points where all electoral areas are given a uniform unit to eventually arrive at 100 electoral votes.

“In Makerere’s context, each of the 10 constituent Colleges could be awarded 10 points and each Candidate’s score at a College would be converted out of 10. For example, assume that COBAMS has 900 valid votes cast,” the new administration suggests.

The administration also suggests that an “all or nothing system” pursued by the United States of America (USA) where the winner of an Electoral College takes all points for that electoral area.

However, several of the university students within the institution have questioned the timing of the amendments saying it is meant to deprive the students of the right to elect leaders since the process would be shifted from the universal suffrage to the Electoral College.  Many of the students are not at the university due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The leaders also want the separation of the judicial obligations of the guild from the GRC to the Guild tribunal with three members. They also want an appellate section of the tribunal to have 5 members.

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