Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has rejected Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama’s plan for scientific elections.
On June 16, Justice Byabakama announced a revised roadmap for the 2021 general elections in which campaigning would be restricted to the media.
But the FDC says Byabakama’s pronouncement violates freedom of assembly and constitutional democracy pillars.
“The only election provided for in the Constitution is one in which citizens actively participate. Covid or no Covid, the standards remain the same,” said FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
“For an election to be an election under the Constitution, it must be free and fair in which citizens actively participate.
These elections are not elections of Electoral Commission or candidates only. They are Uganda’s elections.”
Nganda further accused Byabakama of working to push through an agenda to rig the 2021 election in favour of President Yoweri Museveni.
Museveni, in power since 1986, is seeking re-election for another five-year term.
Also Kira Municipality MP, Nganda claimed that “the person who fears competition and fears assemblies is Yoweri Museveni.”
“That is why he had through Police given himself the powers to grant permission to people intending to hold rallies which Constitutional Court nullified,” he continued.
“In fact Museveni had blocked concerts and rallies even before Covid.
Byabakama has now banned campaigns handing over the initiative to his boss, the incumbent ruling NRM sole candidate, seventy five year old Yoweri Museveni.”
He further revealed that the FDC National Executive Committee and Parliamentary Caucus would convene on June 26 to discuss a way forward.
Some of the options on the table include petitioning the people and court as Watchman Ministries Pastor Joseph Kabuleta has done in his High Court application.
“The country and Parliament in particular must discuss holding of elections in these circumstances. Museveni’s [stolen] term in office will expire in May,” vowed Nganda.
“A transitional arrangement can still be considered that will require extension of the term of Parliament under a new agreed leader.”