With less than a week to the presidential candidates’ nomination, the Electoral Commission (EC) has 18 more candidates whose voter endorsement signatures are still under verification and yet in the past two weeks the commission has only managed to verify and qualify four aspirants as ready for nomination.
Ugandans are already questioning the speed at which the electoral commission is operating but the EC spokesperson Paul Bukenya said, the electoral body is not to blame.
He said, the EC issued announcements via various media platforms advising candidates to present their signatures for verification a month ago, something that would give the commission enough time to sort out the technicalities before nomination day, but many chose to ignore the call.
Bukenya added that even those who took the signatures earlier presented files of them with a lot of issues leading to a lengthy process of verification.
According to him, some of the aspirants have by now only managed to have only 20 or 30 districts verified and confirmed out of the required 98 districts in the entire country.
The presidential elections act requires that each aspiring candidate must present a minimum of 100 signatures from each of two-thirds of Uganda’s districts.
This means all aspiring presidential candidates must produce 100 signatures from each of 98 districts.
By Monday morning, the EC had only verified and cleared four aspiring candidates including NRM’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Mwesigye Fred (Independent), Tumukunde Henry Kakurugu (Independent) and one female aspirant Kalembe Nancy Linda (Independent).
As the nomination dates draw closer, candidates’ camps for both political parties and independents are beginning to worry that they might face problems.
These include National Unity platform (NUP) flag bearer Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert, Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) flag bearer Gregory Mugisha Muntu, Forum for Democratic change (FDC) flag bearer Patrick Amuriat and Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao among others.
Bukenya categorically stated that since the law gives aspirants a deadline of the nomination day to present the signatures and other documents, EC can’t force them to take up advice of early submission and it’s going to continue verifying the signatures until the nomination day, and whosever’s signatures will not have been fully verified will simply get locked out by the nomination deadline, and shouldn’t be EC to blame.