Uganda’s Electoral Commission (EC) has finally announced dates for election of MPs and local council leaders, and issued guidelines on campaign meetings.
EC chairperson Simon Mugenyi Byabakama told reporters in Kampala on October 22 that parliamentary campaigns will happen between November 09, 2020 and January 12, 2021.
CAMPAIGN, POLLING DATES
“Following the conclusion of nomination of candidates, and the harmonization of campaign programs by the Electoral Commission together with the candidates, the Electoral Commission has, in line with Section 18(1a) of the Parliamentary Elections Act appointed polling dates for the elections of Member of Parliament as January 14, 2021,” said Byabakama.
For city and District Local Government Councils, aspirants for Lord Mayor, Mayor, chairperson and councilor positions will conduct campaigns between November 09, 2020 and January 18, 2021.
Elections for these positions will happen on January 20, 2021.
Campaigns for municipality, city division chairpersons, and councilors will take place between November 09, 2020 and February 23, 2021.
Elections for these position are scheduled for February.
For positions of sub-county, town, municipal division chairpersons and councilors will happen from November 09 to February 01, 2021.
Polling for these positions will take place on February 03, 2021.
The EC has now okayed campaign meetings – provided participants follow Covid19 prevention measures, numbers don’t exceed 70 people, meetings happen between 7am and 6pm, and harmonized candidates’ campaign programs are followed to avoid clashes.
“Candidates will be allowed to organize/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,”Byabakama announced.
“Candidates are allowed to conduct campaigns in accordance with the measures and guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of Covid19, 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.”
The EC expects candidates and venue managers to put in place handwashing facilities.
Participants will be required to sanitize or wash hands, and to wear masks before entering campaign venues and while leaving.
The commission will also require candidates to inform returning officers, police and district Covid19 taskforces of the venue of campaign meeting so that they can be inspected to ascertain observance of Covid19 prevention SOPs.