2021 MP Candidates campaign expenditure to double.

2021 MP Candidates campaign expenditure to double.

From a joint research study conducted by the Public Policy Institute (PPI). Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). The different parties established that the Parliamentary candidates involved in the fourth coming elections will spend an average of 465M in campaigns which is twice the average expenditure in 2016.

Research experts headed by Emmanuel Kitamirike cited poor service delivery, limited enforcement of campaign finance laws, low levels of civic Education, weak political institutions, political patronage and high poverty levels as the origin of the commercialisation of politics.

With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, the researchers predicted that this would be the most difficult campaign ever and that it would also be tough for poor candidate’s to be elected into a parliamentary seat. This is because voters have suffered the negative financial effects of COVID 19 and expect their candidates to bribe them in order to secure their vote.

The report indicates that the highly competitive constituents are expected to spend more than Shs 1B especially in the Central and Western region where there are more than three contestants for the same seat. The high competition for parliamentary seats is attributed to the attractive pay check MPs receive.

“Parliamentary candidates in western region need a minimum of Shs 570M to run for office, while their counterparts in the central region require Sh 489m. Candidates in the Northern region need an average of Shs 384m while those from the eastern region must have Shs 315m while those competing in northern region must have Sh306m.” The report notes.

The Country representative of NIMD, Frank Lusa says there is need for urgent solution to the structural barriers to solve the problems of money in politics.

To avert the situation, The JEEMA President, Asuman Basalirwa said that service delivery has to be improved so that MPs concentrate on their key roles like representation, appropriation, legislation and oversight instead of service delivery.