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EC Chairman maintains no Law has been Violated in delaying to announce Polling dates for Parliamentary, Presidential candidates

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The Electoral Commission (EC) Justice Simon Byabakama has said his administration has worked within the precincts of the law in delaying to announce the election dates for Parliamentary and Presidential candidates.

On Thursday, Byabakama said the commission has gazetted January 14, 2021 as the official date when the country will vote for Members of Parliament.

His announcement followed concerns from Parliament as to why the EC had delayed in announcing polling dates.

In fact Parliament had summoned the Minister of Justice to explain the delay.

But Mr Byabakama told journalists that EC was acting within the law. He said that there is no way polling dates would be set before candidates are nominated.

He added that a date for voting of President will be announced once candidates are nominated on 2nd and 3rd November 2020.

Below is full address.

Dear esteemed partners, members of the press, it is our privilege and pleasure to welcome you to this press briefing, at the Commission Headquarters.

Today, the Commission will update you on the progress of the implementation of the Roadmap for General Elections, 2020/2021 as follows:

Status of Elections of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) Committees

The Electoral Commission concluded the conduct of elections of SIGs (Older Persons, Persons with Disabilities and Youth) Committees from the Village to the District/Citylevel.

The Commission appreciates all stakeholders in the electoral process for their participation which enabled successful organisation and conduct of the SIGs Committees Elections.

Conclusion of Nominations of Candidates for Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections and Commencement of Campaign Period

The Electoral Commission conducted the nomination of candidates for Local Government Councils and Parliamentary Elections, from 21st September to 5th October and on 15th and 16th October 2021, respectively.

The nomination exercise attracted a high number of aspirants who include party-sponsored candidates and independents. The Commission is compiling the details of all nominated candidates and will publish the results in due course.

Following the conclusion of the above nomination exercises, the Commission has appointed the periods indicated in the table below, for the purpose of conducting candidates’ campaign meetings for Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections, 2021.

No. Category of Election Campaign Period
Start Finish
1. Parliamentary Elections (Directly-elected MP &District Woman Representative to Parliament) 9th November 2020 12th January 2021
2. City/District Local Government Councils (Lord Mayor/Mayors/Chairpersons &Councilors) 9th November 2020 18th January 2021
3. Municipality/City Division Chairpersons and Councilors 9th November 2020 23rd January 2021
4. Sub County/Town/Municipal Division Chairpersons and Councilors 9th November 2020 1st February 2021

 

The Electoral Commission urges all nominated candidates, their agents, supporters and the general public to carefully observe the following guidelines for this campaign period:

 Campaigns shall be conducted between 7.00 am and 6.00 pm; and in accordance with the harmonized candidates’ campaign programme;

Candidates and their agents shall not use or publish any language or defamatory words, which incite public disorder, hatred, violence or which threatens war;

In accordance with the measures and guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Electoral Commission to prevent and combat person-to-person, person-to-object and object-to-person spread of the COVID-19 during the conduct of election activities, processions and public/mass rallies remain banned; 

Candidates will, however, be allowed to organise/hold campaign meetings, in a regulated manner, preferably outdoors, with limited attendance of a maximum of seventy (70) persons, to enable the observance of the 2-meters social distancing rule for the persons attending the meeting.

The candidates and venue owners must ensure that the campaign/meeting venues are provided with hand washing facilities and sanitizers, and that the supporters attending the campaigns/meetings wear face masks at all time, while accessing and exiting the meeting venue;

Candidates are advised to identify suitable venues within their constituencies and notify the respective Returning Officers, who will conduct an inspection together with the Police and the District COVID-19 Taskforce to ensure the venue will enable observance of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health;

Candidates and their agents are advised to use non-contact means of communication to interact with the electorate. These include fliers, leaflets, brochures, posters, billboards and banners; radio and television announcements and talk shows; short messaging services (SMS), voice messaging, and new digital media platforms and websites;

Candidates who use posters are warned against putting them (campaign posters) on road traffic signs. Similarly, candidates who use banners are strongly warned against hanging them (campaign banners) on electricity power lines, or in a manner that endangers vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement.

Any campaign materials that are wrongly placed will be removed by the relevant Council authorities and Police.

Candidates may also use the community-based Public Address Systems (kizindaalo) between 7:00am-9:00am and 4:00pm-6:00pm, as per the campaign programme harmonised with the respective Returning Officers;

 Appointment of Polling Dates for Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections, 2021

Following the conclusion of nomination of candidates, and the harmonization of campaign programmes by the Electoral Commission together with the candidates, the Electoral Commission has, in line with Section 18(1)(a) of the Parliamentary Elections Act and Section 107 of the Local Government Act, appointed polling dates for the various elective positions as follows:

 

No. Elective Position Polling Date
1. Election of Councillors for Older Persons to the Sub County/Town/Municipal Division 11th January 2021
2. Elections of Councillors for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to the Sub County/Town/Municipal Division 11th January 2021
3. Elections of Youth Representatives to the Sub County/Town/Municipal Division 11th January 2021
4. Election of Councillors for Older Persons to the Municipality/City Division 12th January 2021
5. Elections of Councillors for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to the Municipality/City Division 12th January 2021
6. Elections of Councillors for Youth to the Municipality/City Division 12th January 2021
7. Elections of Member of Parliament (Directly-elected MP and District Woman Representative to Parliament) 14th January 2021
8. National Conference for Election of Older Persons Representatives to Parliament 17th –18th January 2021
9. National Conference for Election of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) Representatives to Parliament 17th –18th January 2021
10. National Conference for Election of Workers Representatives to Parliament 17th –18th January 2021
11. Elections of District Local Government Councils: (District/City Chairpersons, Lord Mayor, Mayors, and Councillors) 20th January 2021
12. National Conference for Election of National Female Youths Representative to Parliament 21st –22nd January 2021
13. Elections of Municipality/City Division Chairpersons and Councillors 25th January 2021
14. Elections of Councillors for Older Persons to the District Local Government Councils 27th January 2021
15. Elections of Councillors for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to the District Local Government Councils 27th January 2021
16. Elections of Councillors for Youths to the District Local Government Councils 27th January 2021
17. Elections of Workers Representatives to District Local Government Councils 27th January 2021
18. Elections of UPDF Representatives to Parliament 29th January 2021
19. Regional Conferences for Election of Regional Youths Representatives to Parliament 31st January– 1st February 2021
20. Elections of Sub County/Town/Municipal Division Chairpersons and Councillors February 3rd 2021

 Preparations for Nomination of Candidates for Presidential Elections

As earlier informed, the Electoral Commission appointed Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd November 2020 as the dates for nomination of candidates for Presidential Elections, 2021.

The nomination exercise will be conducted at Kyambogo University Sports Grounds, starting at 9:00am and ending at 5pm on each of the appointed dates.

The Commission will limit access to the nomination venue, in compliance with Government/Ministry of Health Guidelines and EC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The aspiring candidate, shall be allowed into the nomination venue accompanied by not more than ten (10) persons (including the candidate).

The particulars of persons accompanying the aspirant shall be submitted to the Commission in advance.

Aspiring candidates have been advised to use only three (3) vehicles for purposes of his/her nominations; and each vehicle should not carry more than four (4) persons, driver inclusive. Each of the vehicles shall bear a police sticker.

For the avoidance of doubt, the incumbent President who is also a candidate shall use such facilities as are ordinarily attached to his office. This is in line with Section 27(2) of the Presidential Elections Act.

Meanwhile, as you are already aware, the Commission made available nomination forms and supporter forms to aspiring candidates two months ago. At least eighty-seven (87) aspirants have collected forms expressing interest to contest.

Section 10(b) of the Presidential Elections Act provides that a Presidential candidate’s nomination shall be supported by not less than one hundred (100) persons who are registered voters, from not less than ninety-eight (98) districts, which form two thirds (2/3) of all the districts of Uganda.

Accordingly, the Commission set up a team to handle the verification of supporters for nomination of candidates for the 2021 Presidential Elections.

As at 22nd October 2020, the following aspirants have submitted their supporter forms for verification as:

No Name Party/Independent Status
1 Yoweri Kaguta Museveni National Resistance Movement (NRM) Verified &cleared
2 Bbaale Charles Ecological Party of Uganda (EPU) Under verification
3 Tumukunde Henry Kakurugu Independent Under verification
4 Mwesigye Fred Independent Under verification
5 Mayambala Willy Independent Under verification
6 Lugudde-Katwe Elizabeth Independent Under verification
7 Mutono Mbulambago Robert Independent Under verification
8 Ebetu Simon Independent Under verification
9 Mabirizi Joseph Independent Under verification
10 Kabuleta Kiiza Joseph Independent Under verification
11 Yamureebire Jotham Independent Under verification
12 Makmot Moses Independent Under verification
13 Okoth Geoffrey Independent Under verification
14 Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert National Unity Platform (NUP) Under verification
15 Katumba John Independent Under verification
16 Kalembe Nancy Linda Independent Under verification
17 Katushemererwe Brenda Independent Under verification
18 Amuriat Oboi Patrick Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Under verification
19 Mugisha Muntu Gregg Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Under verification

Presidential aspirants who have attained the verified supporters from the required ninety-eight (98) districts/cities will be issued with a Certificate of Compliance which they will present to the Returning Officer on nomination day.

Meanwhile, aspiring candidates have also been advised to book time in advance on any of the gazetted dates, that is, Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd November 2020, in order to ensure a smooth nomination exercise.

In accordance with Section 21(1) of the Presidential Elections Act, the Commission will appoint and gazette campaign period and polling date after the nomination exercise.

Conclusion

The Electoral Commission wishes to extend its appreciation to all political parties and organisation, and all stakeholders who participated in the concluded nomination exercises.

The Commission further appeals to all stakeholders in the electoral process to carefully study the guidelines for the campaign period and to conduct themselves in accordance with the measures issued by the Commission to safeguard all those participating in the electoral process from the risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.

 

 



Source – Trumpet News

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