CABINET APPROVES 9 NEW CONSTITUENCIES

Cabinet has approved the creation of nine (9) New Constituencies ahead of the 2021 general elections , minister of Information Judith Nabakooba has stated .

The New Constituencies are Kiboga West, Buhweju West, Lamwo East, Bugangaizi South, Chekwi East, Mulanda, ,Buwekula South,Kwania North  and Kagoma North. This will bring th total number of constituencies in Uganda to 247 constituencies.

Currently , the  Ugandan parliament is composed of 238 constituency representatives, 112 district woman representatives, ten Uganda People’s Defence Force representatives, five representatives of the youth, five representatives of persons with disabilities, five representatives of workers, and thirteen ex officio members.

While addressing the nation yesterday about the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic , President Yoweri Museveni supported the new Electoral Commission roadmap tailored at scientific campaigns  even when the opposition party leaders have questioned the legality and fairness of such an exercise.

The Electoral Commission  Chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi released the new revised roadmap for  commencement of various key electoral activities which were suspended three months ago due to a nationwide lockdown and curfew to stem the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.  

The general elections that will allow Ugandans to choose their next president and members of parliament among other political leaders will still go ahead between January 10th-February 8th,2021 but under strict Special Operating Procedures  (SOPs)  guidelines to contain the spread of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Justice Byabakama also revealed that all campaigns for the various positions including the presidential, parliamentary and local governments will be conducted digitally meaning that there will not be the usual mass campaign rallies and town hall engagements . It is not clear whether the attendant electoral laws will be amended to cater for the digital campaigns and how exactly such campaigns shall be carried out  and who will foot the bill.

But the Electoral Commission Chairman  promised that specific guidelines for each electoral activity under this revised Roadmap will be issued  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 important dates

Nominations for presidential candidates will take place between 2nd-3rd November ,2020, candidates for parliamentary elections will be nominated between 12-13th, October 2020 and those contesting for local governments will be nominated between 7th017th September 2020.

The presidential digital campaigns will be conducted between 10th No,vember 2020 – 8th January  2021 and parliament digital campaigns shall be carried out between 20th October 2020 – 8th January  2021.

The revised roadmap is a crash program to recover the three months lost time and sets  June 22nd-July 21st ,2020 as the new dates for political party and organizations to identify flag bearers. Public servants who wish to contest for elective positions for special interest groups should resign their positions by close of this month in any cases latest June 29th,2020 and July 12,2020 for public servants wishing to contest for parliamentary seats . The deadline for  resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for Presidential Elections is 31st, October 2020.

The deadline for establishment of academic papers with Electoral Commission by aspiring candidates for Local Government is set for 7th July 2020, aspiring candidates for Parliamentary Elections 11th August 2020 and aspiring candidates for Presidential Elections1st September 2020.

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