Mass campaign rallies will not be allowed as the country moves into next year’s general elections. Instead, the Electoral Commission (EC) has directed that political campaigns will be limited to mass media and digital platforms.
This, according to the EC chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama, is intended to ensure that Ugandans are not exposed to the risk of contracting the coronavirus disease.
“The Commission has done a risk analysis, the implications and instituted mitigation measures in line with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. We have also considered the need to preserve the health of the Citizens vis a vis their constitutional and democratic right to elect leaders of their choice as guaranteed under the Constitution, and come up with a plan that ensures minimal person-to-person contact during the implementation of the electoral process,” Byabakama said.
“Mass rallies will not be allowed but campaigns will be conducted mainly through media,” Byabakama added.
Parliamentary candidates will be nominated on October 12 -13, while Presidential candidates will be nominated on November 2 – 3.
What is ironical with the new roadmap is that presidential candidates that are required to move around the country have been given two months of campaigning while Parliamentary candidates have three months.
Contenders for the local government positions will have four months of campaigning running from September 2020 to January 2021.
“The Commission will issue specific guidelines for each electoral activity under this revised Roadmap in due course and will engage with various stakeholders on the same. This includes detailed information on specific requirements for nomination as a candidate, access to nomination forms, nomination fees and venues and conduct of campaigns and polling process,” Byabakama said.
The new roadmap requires political parties to identified flag-bearers for the various electoral offices by July 21, 2020.