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EC’s Byabakama: Bobi Wine Must Observe COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines or Face Action

Uganda’s Electoral Commission has directed  Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine to comply with Election Guidelines and respect Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures, Chimp Corps report.

The Commission this Tuesday met Bobi and National Unity Platform (NUP) party officials over what it described as “continued failure and/or refusal in complying with the Electoral Commission’s Guidelines for Conduct of Campaign Meetings and observance of the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures in the electoral environment, thus putting the lives of the citizens at the risk of contracting the virus and resulting into unwarranted confrontations with security personnel.”

This was a follow up meeting to the one adjourned on December 14, 2020, after the Electoral Commission insisted on and required the personal attendance of Bobi Wine.

In the meeting, Bobi complained that his campaigns had been disrupted by the Security personnel who also blocked his radio programs, re-routed their movements, occasioned delays in reaching campaign venues and denied him accommodation in areas where they are scheduled to hold campaign meetings.

They further asserted that implementation of the campaign guidelines should apply equally to all candidates.

Supporters of Bobi fought with security forces in deadly street battles after he was arrested last month.

President Museveni has since accused the EC of complacency as presidential candidates continue to hold public rallies amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

During today’s meeting, the Commission informed the candidate that in response to his concerns raised in earlier meetings and written complaints lodged with the Commission by the NUP party, the Electoral Commission had written to Uganda Police; and a response from the Police had been received.

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The Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama said the electoral body would in the shortest period of time arrange for a meeting with the leadership of the Uganda Police Force, the political parties sponsoring presidential candidates as well as Independent Presidential candidates, with the “view of resolving any outstanding issues” concerning their campaign activities.

“The Commission, however, clarified to the Candidate (Bobi), going forward, that he and all other candidates were expected to follow the election guidelines and respect the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures, failure of which the Commission would take action to ensure observance of the law,” said Byabakama.

He didn’t elaborate on what actions would be taken against Bobi.

However, officials told ChimpReports that Bobi committed himself in writing on his nomination that he would observe election guidelines, failure of which could put his presidential candidature in danger.

It remains to be seen if Bobi will adhere to Byabakama’s new warning.

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