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ANT queries late nomination of presidential candidates

ANT presidential candidate Mugisha Muntu. File photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Alliance for National Transformation- ANT has questioned the rationale used by Electoral Commission to delay the nomination of presidential candidates saying this will deny them sufficient time to campaign across the country.

According to the EC roadmap, the nomination of presidential candidates will take place between November 2 and 3, 2020, almost a month after the nomination of parliamentary candidates. This means that presidential candidates will have three months to campaign compared to parliamentary candidates who will have 120 days.

The ANT presidential candidate Maj. Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu says it is practically impossible for presidential candidates to cover the entire country within the limited time allocated.

Alice Alaso, the ANT National Coordinator says despite writing to EC complaining about the campaign period and sending a delegation over the same, the Commission has turned a deaf ear.

Both Muntu and Alaso say EC’s silence on the matter has forced them to interpret it as connivance with the ruling party National Resistance Movement-NRM party to have an upper hand over its opposition rivals since they have state resources at their disposal which can enable their candidate to traverse the country within the limited time available.

Dr Kizza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change-FDC presidential candidate has also raised a similar concern in the past saying it is inconceivable to hear that councillors and MPs have much longer periods of campaigning compared to presidential candidates.

But EC spokesperson Paul Bukenya says that it takes a lot of time and logistics to prepare for the nomination of over 45,000 positions as the local government level, some of which have attracted more than 10 candidates.

He says EC believes eight weeks and some more days allocated for presidential campaigns is sufficient for one to traverse the country especially now that there will be no mass rallies.

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