By Hanning Mbabazi
Nebbi: The Electoral commission has approved the programme for By-election of the Nebbi LC V district chairperson and filling vacancies of other lower local government councils in Nebbi district.
This comes after the death of the former chairperson Esron William Alenyo, who passed away on September 25th, 2018. Speaking to journalists at the electoral commission headquarters, the EC chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama said that “Reorganizing Nebbi district elections commencing from May 27th, 2019 to July 11th, 2019 with 239 polling stations and 32 positions shall cost Shs757 million.” He added that; “During this electoral programme, no fundraising activities shall be allowed in Nebbi District to allow a leveled-ground for candidates in the race with effect from Friday 31st, May 2019, which is the cut-off date for registration of voters and transfer of voting locations in Nebbi District, and that will continue until polling day.”
He noted that nomination of candidates shall be conducted for a period of two days; starting June 12th and 13th June 2019, followed by a period of six days, from 12th to 17th June 2019 during which members of the general public will have access to the candidates’ nomination papers, and will be able to lodge complaints, if any, on suitability of the candidates to contest in the by-elections. Campaign meetings for candidates for District Chairperson and other Local Government positions shall be held for a period of twenty six days, that is from 14th June to 9th July 2019 from 7:00am until 6:00pm on each of the campaign days and Polling for elections of District Chairperson and other Lower Local Government Councils shall take place on Thursday July 11th, 2019 at all polling stations in Nebbi District, and shall start at 7:00Am and close at 4:00Pm.
Byabakama added that there shall be consultative meetings with all elected Village (LC1) Chairpersons in Nebbi district, District leadership, representatives of political parties and organizations, representatives of civil society organizations, security officials, religious leaders, opinion leaders, sub-county supervisors and members of the press, to discuss any issues of concern to ensure a free and fair by-election. These will be held at on 29th and 30th May 2019 at Nekosi Hall, Nebbi Municipality, with an objective of discussing any issues of concern in this by-election, to foster collaboration between the Commission and stakeholders in the district so as to achieve high participation in the various activities, in accordance with the laws. Updating the National Voters’ Register will be done from 27th to 31st May 2019, within each parish/ward starting from 8:00Am to 6:00Pm. The EC has set 12th to 21st June 2019 as the period for display of the National Voters’ Register, starting 8:00Am to 6:00pm . The EC will also issue temporary Voter Location Slips (VLS) to voters to enable them conveniently locate their respective polling station on polling day.
There will be a display of lists of persons recommended for deletion from the Voters’ Register for a period of eight (8) days, from 24th June – 1st July 2019, at the respective Parish/Ward headquarters. When asked about other districts which haven’t elected their respective leaders, Byabakama said the EC has engaged the ministry of finance and parliament but they haven’t given them feedback yet. He further told journalists that the Clerk to Parliament hasn’t given the EC a formal communication about the Hoima Woman MP and once he communicates formally, the EC shall find a possible way of handling it, if any. Byabakama urged all stakeholders in Nebbi district to turn up in large numbers and participate in the By-election electoral programme.