Elections for the members of Uganda’s Eleventh Parliament will be held on January 14 2021, the Electoral Commission has announced.
The commission also announced that campaigns for all the candidates nominated for parliamentary and local government elections will commence on November 9, 2020.
These campaigns are expected to end 24 hours before the actual voting, according to a roadmap released by EC chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi.
District chairpersons, city mayors, the Lord Mayor and city councillors will be elected on January 20, 2020, and Elections of Municipality/City Division chairpersons and their councillors are to be held on January 25, 2020. Sub County/Town/Municipal Division Chairpersons and their councillors are to be held on February 3, 2020.
The dates were announced two days after parliament questioned delays by the Electoral Commission to announce nomination dates, even after nominating candidates across the country. One MP after another said the delay in appointing the exact dates for the elections was making it hard for them to plan their campaign activities.
But while addressing a press conference at the EC headquarters in Kampala, Justice Byabakama stressed that no one, not even parliament has the powers to tell the commission when the elections should be called. He said that everything that they do is guided by law and not directives from anyone.
January 14 is also expected to be the date for the election of the president, as they normally happen on the same day. However, the commission made no pronouncement on this.
Byabakama said that they can’t announce the date for presidential elections now because the law only permits them to do so after nominations are complete. The Commission is expected to nominate presidential candidates on November 2 and November 3.
Byabakama used today’s press briefing to appeal to candidates to follow the laws and regulation regarding the spread of coronavirus. The Commission said that processions and mass public gatherings are totally banned. He said the police and other security organs will ensure that these directives are followed.
He added that the candidates and venue owners must ensure that the campaign venues are provided with handwashing facilities and sanitizers and that the supporters attending the campaigns wear face masks at all time, while accessing and exiting the meeting venue.