The Electoral Commission has revised the programme for the nomination of candidates for Parliamentary Elections 2021, Chimp Corps report.
The nomination dates have been changed from Monday, October 12 and Tuesday, October 13 2020, to Thursday, October 15 and Friday October 16, 2020.
“The nominations shall be conducted at the respective District/City headquarters across the country, beginning at 9:00am and ending at 5:00pm on each of the appointed dates,” said Acting EC spokesperson Paul Bukenya yon Thursday evening.
Bukenya said the changes followed presentations from various stakeholders including the Parliament of Uganda.
MPs yesterday slammed government’s refusal to extend nomination time by the requested 14 days for local government and parliamentary contenders.
This was in response to Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi, the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) who relayed to Parliament on Wednesday 7 October, 2020, that it will not be possible for the government to extend the nomination dates as it had legal implications.
This followed a request by the House during the previous sitting to have the nomination dates extended to allow aspirants to apply for name change and register the change with the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA).
Kafuuzi has argued that the Electoral Commission (EC) planned to have nomination of parliamentary candidates on 12 and 13 August 2020 giving ample time to the Commission to print ballot papers and declaration of results forms and, to package and dispatch polling materials by 2 January 2021 in compliance with Article 61, Clause 2 of the Constitution.
Following the lockdown due to Covid-19, the EC adjusted the timelines among which the aforementioned and other nominations were moved to 12 and 13 October 2020.
This, he said, gave a reduced timeframe to execute its electoral activities including procurement of voter materials.
Hon. Jacqueline Amongin (NRM, Ngora Woman MP) told Kafuuzi that Parliament has the powers to make adjustments on the dates of nomination if the government approaches it with the request.
“It would be prudent for us to make an adjustment because the justification is there and we do not want to leave out political aspirants because of a simple technicality of a name adjustment,” she added.
FDC, Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa disregarded the arguments tabled by Kafuuzi saying that they did not hold any water in regard to Parliament’s request.
“The Electoral Commission has a constituency template because they know the constituencies and if they do this work digitally, it is only a matter of inputting the data of those who have been nominated; this is an exercise that should not even last a week,” he added.
The Electoral Commission today urged all aspiring candidates in the above electoral process to carefully note the above revised programme and to prepare for nominations in accordance with the guidelines issued for the exercise.