Overview and context
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Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
Uganda is a Presidential Republic. The President is head of state and head of government. The Ugandan Constitution, the supreme law, was adopted in 1995. The legislative system is based on a democratic parliamentary model and vests legislative power solely in the unicameral Parliament.
The Parliament has 327 seats, broken down as follows: 215 are Constitutional Representatives directly elected by universal suffrage, 79 positions are reserved for District Women Representatives, whilst 25 members are designated to legally established special interest groups. Of these seats, 10 are Representatives of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, 5 are Representatives of the Youth, 5 are Representatives of Persons with Disabilities and 5 are Representatives of Workers. Additionally, eight members are designated ex-officio. All members serve five-year terms with the last election held in February 2016. The next election is expected in 2021.
Proposed laws are known as Bills, subsequently known as Acts when assented to by the President. Two types of Bills exist: Government Bills and Private Members’ Bills. Government Bills are initiated by Government Departments or Ministries and are sponsored by the Government. A Private Members’ Bill is a proposed law moved or introduced to the Parliament by backbench Members of Parliament (MPs) or Committees. However, both kinds of Bill move through the following stages.
A bill is first introduced to Parliament through a First Reading, following which the Speaker refers the Bill to a Committee for examination. During this stage other stakeholders, advocacy groups and members of the general public may present their views on the bill to the Committee for consideration. The Committee’s report of the bill is submitted to a plenary session of Parliament and, following a Second Reading, the members debate the legislation. If the bill is adopted, a Committee of the Whole House then considers and scrutinises the bill clause-by-clause along with suggested amendments from the original Committee to which the bill was referred. When the Committee of the Whole House reports back to Parliament, the bill undergoes a Third (and final) Reading in which a vote is taken without further debate. Following the passage of a bill, it is forwarded to the President, whose assent is a Constitutional requirement for a law to come into force. The President has thirty days to sign a Bill or return it to Parliament. After the passage of the 30-day window, assent is assumed and the bill enters into force as an Act. The President may only return the Bill to Parliament twice. If Parliament passes a bill three times, the assent of the President is not required so long as at least two thirds of Members approve the bill.