Parliament has backed by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga in pressing the government to communicate the dates for national elections slated for the beginning of 2021.
This came after the conclusion of the nomination process for aspirants of parliamentary positions this past week.
In her communication from the chair at the start of plenary on Tuesday, 20 October 2020, Kadaga said the Electoral Commission’s (EC) lack of clarity on the election dates is affecting the ability of nominated candidates to, among other things, prepare their campaign programmes.
“The EC had asked those nominated to participate in the forthcoming elections to provide them with campaign programmes; something that is difficult to do without any knowledge of the actual election dates,” she added.
The Speaker said that this also affects the Judiciary since electoral petitions take priority and therefore, the judiciary cannot properly plan its work calendar.
“It is pointless for the Judiciary to set dates for its other work only for that to be overtaken by election petitions,” she added.
Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo Woman) added that as sitting Members of Parliament, they have running activities in their constituencies whose further execution is in limbo because of the EC’s failure to announce the election dates.
“For example, we have to pay school fees for many orphans and if for some reason the campaign period and electoral dates coincide with the time we make the aforementioned payments we might be accused of voter bribery by our opponents,” she said.
Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC, Kira Municipality) submitted that the Electoral Commission is being unfair to behave like the election is solely theirs to partake. “They are preparing the election for us the participants and therefore, ought to tell us when it will be,” he said.
Ssemujju further noted that the Police cannot allow political aspirants who have been nominated to campaign unless they have clearance from the EC. This, he added cannot be done without confirmation of dates.
The Attorney General and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs were directed to return to the House with a response.