ELECTORAL COMMISSION SETS DATES FOR THE 2021 GENERAL ELECTIONS AND TOUGH CONDITIONS FOR CAMPAIGNS

Ugandans will vote for their Members of Parliament on January 14th , the Electoral Commission Chairman , Justice Simon Byamukama has announced . The  EC also set  November 9, 2020, to January 12, 2021, the campaign period for all nominated MP candidates. The campaigns will be conducted from 7am to 6pm everyday .

“Campaigns for City and District Local Government Councils (Lord Mayor/Mayors/Chairpersons and Councilors) will be conducted from 9th November 2020 to 18th January 2021 3. Municipality/City Division Chairpersons and Councilors from 9th November 2020 to 23rd January 2021  and  Sub County/Town/Municipal Division Chairpersons and Councilors from  9th November 2020 to 1st February 2021.

Addressing news conferences on Thursday EC chairperson Simon Byakakama said all campaigns  will  follow the government set  Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to guard against the spread of global -novel Covid-19 pandemic that has left at least one million people dead across the world.

The EC has already concluded the nomination exercise  for aspiring  candidates for the various positions  local political positions  Parliamentary levels, paving way for campaigns.

The countrywide exercise kicked off with the nomination of LC V chairperson candidates, City and Division Mayors and all administrative units in the local government and their respective councilors.

What can and can not be done

“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 COVID19 during the conduct of election activities, processions and public/mass rallies remain banned,” Byabakama stressed.

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.

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.

“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. h. 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;” THE EC Chairman explained .

The elections in numbers

As the country prepares for the political campaign season and the 2021 general elections ,  figures from the Electoral Commission show that the 11th parliament will have a total of 529 MPs the highest number since independence .

At least there are 17.6M registered voters who expected to participate in the polls with 9.2 M of women and 8.4M male representing a 52.2% and 47.7% , respectively .

There will be  146 District Women MPs and  353  elected  Constituency MPs.  The special interest groups will have the Youth MPs 5,Workers’ MPs 5, MPs for PWDs  5,MPs for UPDF. 10 and a new additional special group of  MPs for Elderly  5.

The Electoral Commission will conduct the elections in  146 districts with  353 constituencies, 312 Counties, 2,184 Sub-Counties and 10,595 parishes.

The commission headed by Justice Simon Mugenyi  Byabakama has gazette  34,344 polling stations where Ugandans will exercise their constitutional right to vote for their leaders who will govern the country for the next five years .

The Campaigns are lasted to kick off next month in what government says will be a ‘scientific’  elections to guard against the spread of the deadly global -novel- Covid-19 pandemic that has left over 1m people dead globally .

EC Spokesman , Mr. Paul Bukenya said that the EC is working with candidates to harmonise their respective campaign schedules .

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