By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Uganda’s Electoral Commission has bowed to the pressure from parliament and finally made changes to extend dates for the nomination of candidates for Parliamentary elections.
The Chairman EC Justice Simon Byabakama has revealed that the decision was arrived at after engagements with various stakeholders including the Parliament.
According to the program, the nominations which were scheduled to take place on Monday, October 12 and Tuesday 13 2020, have been extended to Thursday 15 and Friday 16 October 2020 respectively.
However, a section of Ugandans has since expressed their views and opinions drawing loopholes into commission’s move saying that the extension is dubious and aimed at helping the “disorganized” NRM party members not to miss the nomination.
“This is not doubtable, EC extended the program to favour their bosses the NRM members since the party is still battling with petitions therefore if EC had continued with the previous schedule, of course, most of these members would miss being nominated,” a political pundit analysed.
However, EC seems not to be bothered with Ugandan’s point of view of electoral matters since it has gone forward to announce the new nomination schedule as seen in a statement dated October 8 2020, titled, “Revision of Programme for Nominations of Parliamentary Elections” which reveals as follows.
”Following presentations from various stakeholders including the Parliament of Uganda on the above subject matter, the Electoral Commission has revised the programme for the nomination of candidates for Parliamentary Elections 2021, from Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th 2020, to Thursday 15th and Friday 16th October 2020.
The nominations shall be conducted at the respective District/City headquarters across the country, beginning at 9:00 am and ending at 5:00 pm on each of the appointed dates.
‘The Electoral Commission urges all aspiring candidates in the above electoral process to carefully note the above-revised programme and to prepare for nominations in accordance with the guidelines issued for the exercise,” Statement reads.
Meanwhile, in backup to EC’s move, since last month, Parliament has been debating about the need to postpone the nomination dates for them because of the difficulties being faced by some of the candidates who must have their change of names gazetted before being they are nominated.
The development, however, comes days after the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga summoned the EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama for a meeting to clear the air on the exact dates when presidential and parliamentary elections will be held.
“Why is it difficult to actually name the date of the election? What is it you are hiding? This is the first time we will go into nominations without a date for elections,” Speaker Kadaga questioned.
The Members of Parliament stressed that they are not comfortable with this delay in naming the polling day, saying the uncertainty leaves them anxious on how to plan for the much-anticipated elections.
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