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Luwero district youths elections postponed over candidate’s age petition

Simon Byabakama Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Uganda

Luwero, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Electoral Commission has postponed the election of Luwero District Youth Committee members following a petition challenging the age of one of the candidates. The Commission was scheduled to conduct the elections of District and City Youth Committees across the country today.

In Luweero, youth leaders from the sub-county, town council, Persons with Disabilities committees and two students nominated by Uganda National Students Association convened at Luwero district headquarters to elect the District Youths Committee.  According to Electoral Commission guidelines, only those between 18-30 years of age are eligible to contest in the Youths elections.  

However, the Luwero District Returning Officer, Nathan Nabaasa turned away the youth leaders, saying the Commission had postponed the polls following petitions challenging the age of one of the candidates. Nabaasa explained that after receiving the petitions, he forwarded them to their legal department at Electoral Commission headquarters in Kampala city for advice.

He said the affected candidate was summoned to the Electoral Commission headquarters on Monday morning to defend their age, which prompted him to stop the elections pending the disposal of the petition, adding that a new date of the elections will be communicated.  

However, URN has since learnt Hassan Amiina, the representative of Bombo Town council youths committee petitioned EC seeking the nullification of the nomination of Fatumah Nakalyango for the seat of Female Affairs Secretary. Amiina alleges that Nakalyango doesn’t qualify to contest in youth’s elections since she is 34 years old, which is above the requisite age. 

According to the petitioner, Nakalyango lied to EC during the nomination exercise claiming that she was born in 1998 and is 22 years but her National ID clearly shows that she is 34 years. Nakalyango told URN that she erred while registering for the National ID. She explains that prior to her nomination; she swore an affidavit and petitioned the National Identity and Registration Authority to revise her age to 22 years. 

Nakalyango says that she submitted all the necessary documents to EC supporting her position and wants it to dismiss the petition. National Resistance Movement-NRM party officials were forced to close their offices for hours after reports emerged that a group of youths were planning to storm it in protest in case EC decides to proceed with the elections before disposing of the petition. 

This is the the second time the elections are being postponed. Initially, EC had scheduled to conduct the elections on October 16th, 2020 across the country. However, the exercise was postponed to October 19th, 2020. A statement issued by the EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama, on October 13th, 2020, indicates that the polls were postponed to enable the smooth conduct of nomination parliamentary candidates that was done on September 15th and 16th at the respective District/City Headquarters.



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