By Spy Uganda
Kampala: MPs during plenary on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 tasked the Attorney General William Byaruhanga to explain why EC announced different polling dates for parliamentary and presidential elections.
“Presidential and Parliamentary elections are always carried out on the same day but why is the Electoral Commission coming out to announce different polling dates for the same this time round?, ” asked Hon. Joseph Ssewungu (DP, Kalungu County West).
The EC will also officially announce the election dates for Presidential aspirants on 5 November 2020, after the nomination of candidates to the position on 3 and 4 November 2020.
According to the Attorney General, Hon. William Byaruhanga, the announcement of the polling dates after nomination of candidates vying for Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government positions, is in line with section 16(1)(a) of the Presidential Elections Act 2005, Section 18(1)(a) of the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005, and Section 107 of the Local Governments Act, Cap. 243 respectively.
“As Parliament was raising the concern here on the polling dates for the 2021 general elections yesterday, the Electoral Commission was inviting media houses to release the days on Thursday, 22 October 2020,” said Byaruhanga.
In addition, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said the provisions of the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005 did not prevent the Electoral Commission from telling candidates about the elections.
“Last time we talked about section 18 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, I told you that my interpretation is that is a date for putting the matter is in the gazette,” Kadaga added.
The Attorney General told the House that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Justice Simon Byabakama, was following the provisions of the law to the letter, reason as to why polling dates will be announced after the respective nominations.