Politics

19 presidential aspirants return signatures as EC unveils campaign, voting dates ahead of 2021 polls

The Electoral Commission has revealed that a total of 19 presidential aspirants have returned forms including signatures seconding them and that only NRM’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been verified and cleared by the election body.

Addressing journalists on Thursday, the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama said as of today, October 22, 2020, 19 presidential aspirants had submitted their supporter forms for verification but most of them are still being verified.

Other aspirants who returned forms are Patrick Oboi Amuriat (Forum for Democratic Change), Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu (Alliance for National Transformation), Charles Bbaale from Ecological Party of Uganda (EPU), Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Ms Elizabeth Lugudde-Katwe on the independent candidate, and Mr Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta on an independent ticket.
Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, is another presidential aspirant who has since returned signatures for verification under the National Unity Platform (NUP) party.

Mr. Paul Bukenya, the EC acting spokesperson, said that they are considering only 100 signatures from at least 98 districts presented and it does not matter how many endorsements one presents for verification.

“It is good that some people are presenting more signatures than the ones required but that plays to their advantage because when one presents only 100 signatures and we find that three do not qualify, then you have to go back to the district to look for them. That can be tedious than collecting signatures at once,” Mr Bukenya said.

Citing Section 21(1) of the Presidential Elections Act, the Electoral Commission chairperson noted that the polling date for the president will be announced after nomination of candidates on November, 2 and 3, 2020.

Byabakama said the nomination exercise to be conducted at Kyambogo University Sports Grounds, will see the EC limit access to the venue so as to comply with the Ministry of Health guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“The particulars of persons accompanying the aspirant shall be submitted to the commission in advance. Aspiring candidates have been advised to use only three vehicles for purposes of their nominations and each vehicle should not carry more than four persons, the driver inclusive,” Byabakama said.

He noted that each of the three vehicles shall bear a police sticker.

Campaigns

Mr. Byabakama said that the MPs shall campaign from November, 9 to January 12, 2021 while City/District Local Government Councils (Lord Mayor/Mayors/Chairpersons &Councilors) will campaign from November 9 to January, 18 2021.

The elections for MPs are slated for January 14, 2021 while Elections of District Local Government Councils: (District/City Chairpersons, Lord Mayor, Mayors, and Councillors) will be on January 20, 2021.

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;
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;

Candidates will, however, be allowed to organise/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.

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