Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the biggest opposition political party has rejected the guidelines that were issued by the Electoral Commission last week on how to hold scientific campaigns in the coming 2021 general elections.
Speaking to the media at the party’s headquarters at Najjanankumbi in Kampala on Monday, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, the party spokesperson said on top of the guidelines contravening their party constitution, they also run parallel to all the national laws that relate to elections. Ssemujju vowed that as party they are not going to respect them.
Last week the Electoral Commission through its chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, issued guidelines relating to nominations, campaigns and voting. The highlights in them were that before a candidate holds a campaign rally, he/she must ensure that the venue conforms to the guidelines issued by the ministry of health on the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The candidate and venue owners of where the campaign meeting is to take place must have ensured that it has hand washing facilities such as water and soap or sanitizers. All tables and chairs too must be sanitized and all participants must have face masks. To ensure compliance, the police must be notified for them to check out the venue before the meeting takes place.
The police welcomed this proposal and said that it will help them enforce COVID-19 regulations. But to FDC this is a minefield that must to be allowed basing on the history of the police when it comes to the political opposition.
Ssemujju added that even the suggestion by the NRM secretary general to arrest all those who are caught flouting the rules including the minister is just a mirage. He said that they want to give a picture that the rules are blind yet in fact they only target the opposition.
Meanwhile, the FDC has announced that members who are interested in running as MPs in the newly created constituencies, cities, areas where there was no member who had expressed interest during the first window including the office of the Lord Mayor to go and pick nomination documents.
The exercise that will take 10 days kicked off today at the party headquarters and all district offices. There was drama last month when Kampala Lord Mayor hopeful Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala tried to return nomination forms. The party said the date of returning nomination papers had expired and therefore, it couldn’t receive Nabilah’s papers. Ssemujju said now she’s free to pick and return them.