PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS KICK OFF AS EC SETS DATES FOR VOTING

The Presidential camgains kicked off in earnest with incumbent President Yoweri Museveni according to the Party Secretary-General,Mrs. Justine Kasule Lumumba saying that the incumbent NRM leader will meet his supporters from Greater Luweero districts which include, Luweero Nakaseke and Nakasongola at Kawumu in Luweero District.

The Ugandan Electoral Commission (EC) boss, Justice Simon Byabakama, set today as the commencement date for the presidential campaigns for the 2021 General Election which will end on January 12, 2021.

The dates coincide with Parliamentary campaigns and polling dates. Justice Byabakama appealed to all stakeholders to ensure that they work within the law and set guidelines to avoid confrontation from either side.

“Following the conclusion of nominations, the commission this morning (yesterday) appointed November 9 until January 12, 2021, for conducting campaign meetings across the country,” Justice Byabakama said.

He, however, reiterated that all political candidates must adhere to the standard operating procedures to prevent further spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 11 presidential candidates were nominated over a two-day exercise that was concluded last week .

But several other presidential aspirants who had earlier picked their supporter forms for verification were not nominated for failure to comply with the commission’s requirements. Justice Byabakama, however, said all those who were interested followed the rules and were nominated.

She added that this time-round, campaigns shall be village-based as opposed to holding rallies due to the coronavirus pandemic regulations set by the Ministry of Health.

“We would have loved to hold mass rallies and meet with all our supporters, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we choose to protect their lives,” Lumumba regretted.

On Tuesday, Museveni shall hold other meetings with leaders of Lira, Apac on Wednesday, Arua on Thursday and Nebbi district on Friday. Others meetings shall take place in Moyo on Saturday and Gulu on Sunday.

According to Hon. Lumumba, the meetings will have the party flag-bearers at all levels including Members of Parliament (2021-2026), district women representatives and representatives of the special interest groups, incumbent NRM MPs and those on the independent ticket but NRM leaning.

Other Persons to attend meetings shall include flag bearers for City Mayors, City Division councillors, District Chairpersons, NRM district executive committee, chairpersons of the district NRM leagues, chairpersons of the district councils for the special interest groups, incumbent mayors for municipalities, flag bearers for positions of mayors for municipalities, municipal executive committees, chairpersons of municipal leagues, chairperson of the branch where the meeting will be held and the chairperson of the village where the meeting will be held.

Beside ordinary meetings, the Secretary-General said that the President will hold separate meetings with NRM youth leaders including flag bearers for Youth MP, District Youth Council Executive, District Youth League Executive, Flag bearers for District Youth Councillors to district local government and the incumbent District Youth Councillors to district local government.

She, however, noted that NRM village chairpersons shall be key persons in canvassing votes for the NRM presidential flag bearer.

“The campaigns are to be carried out on a door to door level by the NRM village chairpersons. We will require them to first talk to their family members and then other people in the villages to help deliver victory for the party at all levels,” Lumumba emphasised.

Hon. Lumumba, however, asked the leaders and members of the public to observe Standard Operating Procedures while canvassing votes at the village level to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.

“Protect yourselves and the people you talk to. We want you to live longer. Put on masks, ensure social distance and wash hands with water and soap,” she advised.

Also present at the presser were Hon Jacqueline Kyatuhaire the Deputy National Treasurer, Hon Emmanuel Lumala Dombo- Director for Information and Public Relations, Hon Mathias Kasamba- Director for Mobilisation, Hajjati Medina Naham – Director for Finance and Administration, Hon Peter Ogwang State Minister for ICT among others.

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