Uganda has decided to have its Presidential and Parliamentary elections held between 10th January – 8th February 2021 however, all the campaigns will be held digitally popularly referred to as a scientific election.
According to the Uganda Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon, after consultations with, and expert guidance from the Ministry of Health, the Commission considered and approved a revised Roadmap for the 2020/2021 General Elections allowing a scientific election to be conducted.
“This Revised Roadmap highlights the dates for commencement of various key electoral activities, namely, nominations, campaigns and polling for various elective positions, that is, Presidential, General Parliamentary and Local Government Councils.
“The Roadmap also highlights the period for conduct of elections for Special Interest Groups (Persons with Disability, Older Persons and Youth) Committees from Village to National Levels,” said Byabakama in Kampala.
He said they had done a risk analysis, the implications and instituted mitigation measures in line with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
“We have also considered the need to preserve the health of the Citizens vis a vis their constitutional and democratic right to elect leaders of their choice as guaranteed under the Constitution and come up with a plan that ensures minimal person-to-person contact during the implementation of the electoral process. For example;
“The Commission will avail nomination forms on its website that can be printed by those with access to the internet.
“However, for those with no access to the internet, hard copies will be availed. Important to note is that we will only allow an aspiring candidate with only two (2) people; the nominator and a seconder,” said Byabakama.
He said mass rallies will not be allowed but campaigns will be conducted mainly through media.
“The Commission will issue specific guidelines for each electoral activity under this revised Roadmap in due course and will engage with various stakeholders on the same.
“This includes detailed information on specific requirements for nomination as a candidate, access to nomination forms, nomination fees and venues and conduct of campaigns and polling process.
“Furthermore, the Commission in consultation with the Ministry of Health considered and adopted Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to facilitate safe participation by all stakeholders in the electoral process.
“These emphasize safe practices, which have been customized to elections and electoral process like Practicing social distancing, Wearing face masks in public and Regular washing of hands,” said Byabakama.
No Activity Period
- Political Party and Organisations to identify flag bearers (22nd June – 21st July 2020)
- Deadline for resignation by public servants wishing to participate in Special Interest Groups (SIGs) Committees Elections (29th June 2020)
- Nomination of Village SIGs (Older Persons, Persons with Disability and Youth) Committees Candidates (see attached detailed for progressive levels up to National) (5th August 2020)
- Deadline for establishment of academic papers with Electoral Commission by aspiring candidates for Local Government (7th July 2020)
- Deadline for establishment of academic papers with Electoral Commission by aspiring candidates for Parliamentary Elections (11th August 2020)
- Deadline for establishment of academic papers with Electoral Commission by aspiring candidates for Presidential Elections (1st September 2020)
- Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for Parliamentary Elections (12th July 2020)
- Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for Local Government Councils Elections (6th August 2020)
- Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for SIG Representative to Parliament (7th August 2020)
- Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for Presidential Elections (31st October 2020)
- Period for nomination of candidates for Local Governments, including SIGs (7th – 17th September 2020)
- Nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections (12th – 13th October 2020)
- Nomination of Candidates for Presidential Elections (2nd – 3rd November 2020)
- Harmonisation of Campaign Programme and Signing of Memorandum (4th – 9th November 2020)
- Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Local Government (28th September 2020 – 8th January 2021)
- Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Parliamentary Elections (20th October 2020 –8th January 2021)
- Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Presidential Elections (10th November 2020 – 8th January 2021)
- Polling period for General Elections (exact polling dates to be appointed in due course) (10th January – 8th February 2021)
BY PAUL TENTENA