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EC summons Kyagulanyi and Amuriat over breach of election guidelines

Bobi Wine on his campaign trail. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Electoral Commission has summoned the National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu and FDC’s Patrick Amuriat Oboi over repeated flouting of election guidelines.

The Electoral Commission acting on the direction of the Ministry of Health banned mass gatherings that have more than 200 people as a means of slowing the spread of coronavirus. In a letter written by the Electoral Commission chairman Justice Byabakama Simon Mugenyi addressed to Kyagulanyi states that the candidate has refused to adhere to the directives despite repeated reminders to do so.

“You may recall in our meeting with the commission on December 2, you were reminded to comply with the said guidelines to protect the citizens of this country from Covid-19 infections including yourself as a candidate,” Byabakama’s letter reads in part.

“Despite what the commission communicated in the above-stated meeting and the press communications on the matter, you have continued to ignore and neglected observing the standard operating procedures by holding mass rallies and processions contrary to established guidelines thereby risking the lives of the people. In the process, this has resulted in unwarranted occasional confrontations with security personnel.”

The letter instructs Kyagulanyi to appear in person at the commission headquarters in Kampala at Jinja road on Monday, December 14 at 10:00 am to respond to those issues and chat a way forward.

However, while meeting the commission at the beginning of this month, Kyagulanyi decried what he called the selective application of the law. He said the NRM candidate President Museveni had on several occasions been seen in person or through surrogates holding rallies of more than 200 people many of whom were without masks or practising social distancing. Ugandans will go to the polls to elect new leaders on January 14, 2021, for presidential and parliamentary elections.

Also summoned to appear at the commission on Monday are two parliamentary candidates, Peter Mugema Panadol of Iganga Municipality and Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo of Kyotera county. Both Mugema and Kasolo are NRM flag bearers.

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