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Kadaga, EC bicker over extension of nomination dates

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Justice Simon Byabakama

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Electoral Commission has revised the dates for nominations of Members of Parliament to October 15 and 16, to allow MPs to undertake deed polls for  the reallighnment of their names. 

The new pronouncement by the Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama does not only extend the nomination dates from Monday, October 12 and  Tuesday, October 13, but overrules the dates that were communicated by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga during the National Prayer Breakfast at State House Entebbe.

Kadaga announced that the nominations were to take place on October 19 and 20 due to the long process required to undertake a deed poll.  This decision was reportedly reached after a meeting between the Speaker of Parliament, the Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi and President Yoweri Museveni, on the sidelines of the national prayer breakfast meeting held at State House Entebbe on Thursday.

Although Parliament, the Attorney General and the Electoral Commission have gone back and forth on the issue of re alligning names to match academic records and details on the National Registry, in recent weeks, both the Speaker of Parliament and David Bahati , the State Minister for Finance announced that they had finally resolved the matter.

However, after making the announcement, the Speaker said the Electoral Commission would issue the extension guidelines to the public formally as per the Presidential and Parliamentary elections act. But as he returned from State House, Justice Byabakama told Uganda Radio Network that he would issue a detailed statement. 

Now in a twist of events, Justice Byakama announced new dates for nominations giving the MPs and aspirants for the 2021 elections only two days from the initial nomination days. The Electoral Commission also urged all aspiring candidates  to take note of  the revised programme and to prepare for nominations in accordance with the guidelines issued for the exercise.

“Following presentations from various stakeholders including the Parliament of Uganda on the above subject matter, the Electoral Commission has revised the programme for the nomination of candidates for Parliamentary Elections 2021, from Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 2020, to Thursday 15 and Friday 16 October 2020,” the release by Byabakama reads

While making a demand to the Electoral Commission during plenary of Thursday evening, Kadaga demanded that the extension be made by two weeks or utmost a week. However with only two days as the difference between the actual nomination day and the initial date, it remains to be seen when nominations will happen.

Kadaga has called for a Press conference on Independence day, in what could be related to the subject matter. The Electoral Commission Spokesperson Paul Bukenya told URN that the Commissions position is what the aspirants should take, saying that is the time they had managed to settle for.

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