Uganda’s Independent Electoral Commission has confirmed dates for the nomination of presidential candidates and Members of Parliament among other aspirants in the forthcoming 2021 general election.
According to the acting Electoral Commission spokesperson, Paul Bukenya, presidential candidates will be nominated on November 2 and 3, 2020 whereas Members of Parliament will be nominated between October 12 and 13,2020.
Bukenya also noted that nomination of candidates for Local Government elections will be conducted between September 21 and October 1, 2020.
The Electoral Commission earlier this year announced that mass rallies will not be allowed during the forthcoming 2021 general elections to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.
“Mass rallies will not be allowed but campaigns will be conducted mainly through media,” Justice Byabakama said in June.
“The Commission will issue specific guidelines for each electoral activity under this revised Roadmap in due course and will engage with various stakeholders on the same. This includes detailed information on specific requirements for nomination as a candidate, access to nomination forms, nomination fees and venues and conduct of campaigns and polling process.”
The Electoral Commission chairperson said whereas they have the duty to recognize the constitutional right of citizens to vote and choose their desired leaders, they are also mandated to observe health guidelines for safety of citizens.
“All campaigns have to be conducted in that manner(through media) because some of our political actors are undisciplined. The safest way is to say no to gatherings.”
Asked to comment on the issue of RDCs and various police commanders who have always blocked presidential candidates from appearing on several media outlets, the EC chairperson said they would engage all stakeholders.
“This is a national process and these measures should be effected without any hindrance. As of now we don’t have any candidate and will only emerge after nominations but we have ample time to engage with all these actors to have a free and fair process,” he said.
The Electoral Commission chairperson said all candidates have a right to free space on government-owned media, adding that they would engage the Uganda Communications Commission in regards private media.