By Patrick Jaramogi
KAMPALA: The country may save shs700 billion that was being requested by the Electoral Commission to hold the 2021 general elections if the new plans of queuing as compared to secret ballot voting as suggested by NRM top management is adopted.
But it still remains unclear how the Electoral Commission will have over 19.4 million expected voters by 2021 line up for the elections of the president, Members of Parliament as well as LC I, II and IIIs.
By 2021, Uganda will be having a total of 141 districts, from the current 121. The Municipalities will also increase from the current 39 to 80 while sub-counties will shoot to 2,000 from the current 1,398.
In short, a total of 19.4 million expected registered voters will be required to line up to vote from the 35, 000 polling stations countrywide.
According to Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM Party publicist, the main focus is to reduce on expenditure for printing ballot papers, transporting them and to only reduce on the petition cases filed by losers after the elections.
The NRM’s Central Executive Committee, (CEC), the top decision making organ of the ruling party suggested that all candidates for various elective positions be elected by lining up behind them.
CEC resolved this during the ongoing retreat at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park in Nwoya district. The five day CEC retreat was opened by President Museveni on Saturday.
There have always been cries of insufficient funding, both from the NRM electoral Commission and the national Electoral Commission to hold elections.
The country, has on several elections conducted its election through the secret ballot, say for the Local Council I and II that was conducted last year by queuing behind the candidate.
Mulindwa said with the lining behind, it becomes hard for candidates to go to court to complain that they have been cheated.
“This new measure will reduce the number of petitions filed by those who were dissatisfied with the outcome of the ballot process. It will also enhance transparency because losing candidates could easily see that fewer people lined behind them,” said Mulindwa.
These new measures proposed by CED, according to Mulindwa will be agreed upon by the various NRM delegates at the various district conferences.