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2021 Nominations: Museveni Allowed More Escorts Than Other Candidates

Justice Simon Byabakama the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission has disclosed that President Yoweri Museveni will be allowed to come in with a bigger group of people for his nomination next week compared to other candidates.

Between November 2 and 3, more than ten presidential aspirants will go to Kyambogo Sports Ground in Kampala to be nominated.

Each candidate according to the EC guidelines is expected to be escorted by only nine people, who must present COVID-19 free certificates.

However, Byabakama says President Museveni being the incumbent, will be allowed more company.

“For avoidance of doubt, the incumbent president who is also a candidate shall use such facilities as are ordinarily attached to his office. This is in line with Section 27(2) of the Presidential Elections Act,” he said.

“By law, the president is entitled to move with more than these nine people and I want to assure you that this is not our decision but it is stipulated under the law.”

The EC boss on the other hand emphasized that processions remain banned and that whoever attempts to have one will be arrested.

A group of bodaboda riders in Kampala yesterday vowed to escort the NUP candidate Robert Kyagulanyi to the venue on Tuesday.

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By today October 23, ten candidates had been cleared for nomination and these are; Yoweri Museveni from the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Robert Kyagulanyi of the National Unity Platform, Amuriat Oboi of FDC, Mugisha Muntu from ANT and Linda Nancy Kalembe on independent.

Others are; John Katumba, Joseph Kiiza (Indep), Willy Mayambala (Indep), Fred Mwesigye and Henry Tumukunde Kakurugu (Indep).

Aspiring candidates must fulfill all other requirements as listed in guidelines like; Nomination Paper, Declaration by Candidates, Proof of minimum Formal Education of Advanced Level Standard or its equivalent, three passport sized photos and proof of compliance with section 10(1), (1)(B) and (3) of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005.

Byabakama noted that the nomination exercise will feature limited physical attendance, that is national and international dignitaries, government officials, national and international election observers.

“An aspiring candidate will use only three vehicles for purposes of his/her nominations; and each vehicle should not carry more than four persons, driver inclusive. Each of the vehicles shall bear a police sticker,” Byabakama said.

He noted that upon successful nomination, candidates who may wish to meet their supporters for purpose of launching their manifestos are advised to organize and hold such meetings, in a regulated manner, preferably virtual, with limited attendance of at least seventy people to enable the observance of COVID-19 social distancing.

“All candidates after nominations will revive one one escort vehicle, with officers to guard him both during campaigns and home,” he noted.

On the issue of media coverage, Byabakama said only thirty media houses have been approved to cover and the rest will observe the events on TV and other channels.

“All media persons who have been cleared to physically attend and cover the nomination exercise will be required to present a 72-hr PCR negative test for COVID-19, which will be taken at their own cost,” he said.

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