The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Justice Simon Byabakaama Mugenyi has unveiled the official dates for the campaigns for the Parliamentary candidate and polling dates.
According to the update, Parliamentary Elections (Directly-elected MP and District Woman Representative to Parliament), will commence on November 9 and January 12,
“Campaigns shall be conducted between 7.00 am and 6.00 pm; and in accordance with the harmonized candidates’ campaign programme; Candidates and their agents shall not use or publish any language or defamatory words, which incite public disorder, hatred, violence or which threatens war,” he said.
“In accordance with the measures and guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Electoral Commission to prevent and combat person-to-person, person-to-object and object-to-person spread of the COVID-19 during the conduct of election activities, processions and public/mass rallies remain banned.”
He noted that the Candidates will be allowed to organize or hold campaign meetings, in a regulated manner, preferably outdoors, with limited attendance of a maximum of seventy (70) persons, to enable the observance of the 2-meters social distancing rule for the persons attending the meeting.
“The candidates and venue owners must ensure that the campaign/meeting venues are provided with hand washing facilities and sanitizers, and that the supporters attending the campaigns/meetings wear face masks at all time, while accessing and exiting the meeting venue.”
He advised candidates to identify suitable venues within their constituencies and notify the respective Returning Officers, who will conduct an inspection together with the Police and the District COVID-19 Taskforce to ensure the venue will enable observance of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health;
“Candidates and their agents are advised to use non-contact means of communication to interact with the electorate. These include fliers, leaflets, brochures, posters, billboards and banners; radio and television announcements and talk shows; short messaging services (SMS), voice messaging, and new digital media platforms and websites.
The election of Parliamentary aspirants will be conducted on January 14, according to Justice Byabakama
On presidential polls dates, the EC boss noted that the commission will announce the dates, shortly after their nominations which will take place between November 2 and 3, respectively.
“The Commission will limit access to the nomination venue, in compliance with Government/Ministry of Health Guidelines and EC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for preventing the spread of COVID-19. The aspiring candidate, shall be allowed into the nomination venue accompanied by not more than ten (10) persons (including the candidate),”
So far according to Byabakama, 18 candidates out of the 87 candidates who picked the nomination forms are under verification. President Yoweri Museveni, is the only candidate who has been verified.
“Presidential aspirants who have attained the verified supporters from the required ninety-eight (98) districts/cities will be issued with a Certificate of Compliance which they will present to the Returning Officer on nomination day,” he said.