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EC boss Byabakama: We’ll force Bobi Wine to follow guidelines

EC chairperson Simon Mugenyi Byabakama and Bobi Wine. Courtesy Photos

The chairperson of Uganda’s Electoral Commission (EC), Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, has vowed to take action against National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and other presidential candidates who continue to flout Covid19 and election guidelines.

Byabakama and Bobi Wine met at the EC headquarters in Kampala on December 15 over the latter’s continued disregard of guidelines.

In the meeting, Bobi Wine complained that the EC had continued to look as supporters of incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) hold rallies.

As expected, Bobi Wine also complained of police brutality and the blocking of his rallies.

Byabakama told Bobi Wine the commission would arrange a meeting between police and all presidential candidates “with the view of resolving any outstanding issues concerning their campaign activities.”

Byabakama directed Bobi Wine to start observing Covid19 prevention and election guidelines.

“The commission, however, clarified to the candidate, going forward, that he and all other candidates were expected to follow the election guidelines and respect the Covid19 Standard Operating Procedures, failure of which the commission would take action to ensure observance of the law,” Byabakama said in a statement after the meeting.

“If you pronounce from the word go ‘for us we are going to observe that, for us we are going to address rallies. 200 people, how can I address 200 people?’ You are not complying with the law, what do you expect law enforcement to do, to get out a handkerchief and wave at you. We have emphasized to candidate Kyagulanyi to start by being compliant.”

But Bobi Wine says he will not stop holding rallies and start conducting meetings of not more than 200 people as recommended by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

He says he will keep telling those who have face masks to wear them and those who don’t have to simply come as they are.

The EC is expected to meet presidential candidate Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) of main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

But Amuriat has insisted he can only meet the EC on Christmas Day.

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