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Ban on campaigns in selected districts could be lifted – Electoral Commission

Paul Bukenya, EC spokesperson.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Electoral Commission has said that the ban of political campaigns in selected districts could be lifted before the January 14th polls.

On Saturday, the EC suspended campaign meetings of all categories of elections in 16 districts and cities in the country due to the surging Covid-19 infections exacerbated by mass gatherings.

The districts include Kasese, Mbarara, Kabarole, Luweero, and Kampala among others. EC advised candidates to restrict themselves to virtual campaigns by using radios, televisions, social media, community-based public address systems and other online platforms.

Paul Bukenya, the EC spokesperson says that campaigns that were suspended could be reinstated. He explains that they are open to having talks with all presidential candidates to find ways on how the electoral process can continue the campaigns without exposing the electorate to COVID-19.

Asked if the commission would allocate candidates more time to campaign in the affected districts and cities once the suspension is lifted, Bukenya said they still have a lot of work to do with the presidential candidates before polling day.

Bukenya’s comments come after the Archbishop of the church of Uganda, Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu asked the EC to reinstate the campaigns. This was during the Archbishop’s New Year message on Thursday.

The Archbishop says that the electoral commission needs to organize a meeting with all presidential candidates to forge a way forward so that campaigns can resume.

According to the ministry of health data, some of the districts or cities have reported over 200 cases of COVID-19 since the campaigns started. The figures show that since November to date, districts like Kampala have recorded as many as 9,792 infections of COVID followed by Wakiso with over 1,900 cases.

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