Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Electoral Commission has said that it is in control of the electoral process.
Criticism of the commission has been high following the arrest of the National Unity Platform-NUP presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu in Luuka district.
Several opposition politicians on Thursday said that the commission had lost its powers to security personnel and the incumbent presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni.
In a statement released by the chairperson of the Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama, he states that the commission is in control executing their mandate and shall deliver free and fair elections.
The commission acting spokesperson Paul Bukenya said that they are following up on Kyagulanyi’s arrest with security agencies and other relevant organs.
However, he added that it is the mandate of the police to enforce campaign guidelines as set by the commission.
Asked about the selective enforcement of the Covid-19 guidelines, Bukenya insisted that it is the job of the police to enforce the standard operating procedures.
Bukenya further warned candidates who are floating or intend to flout the guidelines.
According to guidelines issued by the commission, candidates should avoid crowds of more than 200 people. They are also not allowed to hold processions.
He says those who violate guidelines risk having their campaigns suspended.
Following Kyagulanyi’s arrest, several presidential candidates including Gen Henry Tumukunde and Gen. Gregg Mugisha Muntu suspended their campaigns.
However, Bukenya says the two presidential candidates should communicate formally to the commission. He says for now, they are expected to follow their campaign programs.
He also said that there shall be no extension of the campaign period since the Commission has to abide by the law on dates for casting the ballot.
Bukenya also said that they have not received complaints of presidential candidates being denied airtime on radio stations as alleged by Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party.