The Electoral Commission (EC) has asked Uganda Police to immediately stop blocking Presidential candidates’ campaign meetings.
The EC chairman Justice Byabakama in a letter sent to IGP Okoth Ochola said the commission has received formal complaints from the candidates and also seen media reporting on the same.
“The Electoral Commission has received complaints from some Presidential Candidates and also seen press reports alleging that Uganda Police is blocking and/or disrupting them (candidates) from accessing scheduled venues for purposes of conducting their respective campaign meetings,” Byabakama writes.
He said this has resulted in unnecessary confrontations, with physical clashes involving security officials and the candidates and their supporters, which has portrayed the conduct of this activity in a negative way.
“As you are aware, after the nomination exercise, Presidential Candidates harmonised their respective campaign programmes covering the entire country for the duration of the gazetted campaign period.”
The Commission provided a copy of programme, including changes as they are officially made, to all stakeholders including the Uganda Police Force.
“Please note that conducting campaigns as per the harmonized programme is a recognized activity under the Presidentia, Elections Act and the Roadmap for the 2021 General Elections,” Byabakama further said.
He notified that in such spirit Presidential Candidates have a right to move and access the designated campaign venues and hold their campaign meetings, in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines as issued by the Electoral Commission.
He said Uganda Police is required to ensure that this electoral activity takes place in a peaceful manner and in accordance with the law and guidelines.
“This is therefore, to urge you to facilitate the smooth actualization of this electoral activity and ensure that there is no disruption and/or such blocking of the harmonized campaign programme.”