Muntu Meets EC over Cameras; Ballot Paper Seals

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Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) has asked the Electoral Commission (EC) for serial numbers of ballot papers, seal numbers of declaration return forms and the second transportation seal.

“We received hard copy of National Voters Register but a number of polling stations in some districts was missing; Bugweri, Arua City, Jinja City, Rubaga, Kaliro etc,” said ANT Presidential Candidate Rtd Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu.

The Commission said the law only allows them to give out serial and seal numbers 24 hours to voting.

EC further said that it was going to expeditiously give ANT missing parts of the National Voters Register.

Muntu also queried EC’s decision of only allowing cameras at the counting of votes and taking photos of DR Forms.

“We sought to know what happens in case electoral malpractices happen before the counting,” said Muntu.

The Electoral Commission this past Sunday said it was restricting use of cameras and recording gadgets inside polling stations to maintain the integrity of the election exercise, including protecting anonymity of voters.

“Given the nature of our polling booth, which is an open basin, the presence of cameras in side polling stations may jeopardise the secrecy of the ballot, due to uncontrolled use of cameras and other recording devices,” said EC chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama.

Byabakama today told Muntu that people are allowed to stand outside the condoned area to record any kind of electoral malpractice.

“The cameras should not be used anywhere near the voting booth to protect the sanctity of a secret ballot,” said Byabakama.

Muntu also asked why people are not allowed to stay around the polling station.

The EC declared that voters should leave polling stations after voting.

But Muntu argued that the law only talks about 20 metres away from polling station.

EC said the move is aimed at preventing the spread of Coronavirus and that only agents of candidates, security personnel and other authorized officials will be allowed to stay at the polling stations.

Muntu said ANT sought their position on cases where agents are chased from polling station and asked that such be shut down and results be dismissed.

Justice Simon Byabakama

Regarding the requirement that whoever is going to access the tally centre must produce a Covid-19 Certificate, the EC said they would pay for the tests.

“While we were satisfied with some of the Commission’s responses, we remain concerned about its general lack of advance planning and proactive communication to stakeholders,” said Muntu.

“As a party, we committed to Ugandans that we would do everything humanly possible to ensure these elections do not cost citizens their lives. This engagement was yet another way to walk the talk. We will continue to engage the Commission on these and other issues,” he added.

Source – ChimpReports

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