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EC Set For Local Gov’t By-Elections, Urges Voters To Turn Up In Big Numbers

The Electoral Commission is in final preparations to successfully and peacefully conduct Local Government Councils By-elections slated for 15th and 16th December 2021.

Addressing the press at EC offices in Kampala on Friday,  Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon, the  Electoral Commission Chairperson, said the categories of vacancies to be filled include the District Chairperson for Kayunga;  Chairpersons at Sub County level;  Councilors at the City/District; Municipality/City Division and Sub county/Town Council/Municipal Division level and Councilors representing Special Interest Groups(SIGs).

 The nomination exercise was conducted on 29th and 30th November, 2021.

“A total number of one thousand two hundred and forty-six (1,246) candidates were successfully  nominated to contest for the three hundred and twenty-three (323) elective positions which are vacant on various Local Government Councils in one hundred and fourteen (114) districts/cities across the country,” Byabakama said.

 In respect to by-election of District Chairperson for Kayunga, the EC boss said, the following candidates were nominated; Kamoga Jamilu (Independent); Musisi Boniface Bandikubi (Independent); Muwonge Andrew (NRM); Nakweede Harriet (NUP); Nyanzi Majid (Independent) and Waddimba Anthony (DP).

Byabakama says the campaign meetings for these Local Government Councils by-elections commenced on 2nd December 2021 and will be concluded on Tuesday, 14th December 2021.

“The Commission wishes to commend the candidates and their supporters for a generally peaceful campaign process so far. The Commission further commends Uganda Police for ensuring compliance with the campaign guidelines, including enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for prevention of COVID-19 during electoral activities,” Byabakama said.

Polling Dates

He noted that the Commission has appointed polling dates for conduct of the above by-elections as follows: Wednesday 15th December 2021: Polling day for by-election of Councilors representing Special Interest Groups (Youth, Persons with Disability; Older Persons and Workers) at Local Government Councils in affected electoral areas across the country; The voting shall be by electoral college and by secret ballot, beginning at 7:00am and ending at 4:00pm.

Thursday 16th December 2021

This is the polling Day for by-election of District Chairperson, Kayunga, and other Chairpersons at Sub county level, as well as Councilors at the City/District; Municipality/City Division and Sub County/Town Council/Municipal Division level in the affected electoral areas across the country.

According to EC, the voting shall be by universal adult suffrage, and shall take place at all polling stations in the affected electoral areas beginning at 7:00am and ending at 4:00pm.

 In the case of Kayunga District, Byabakama said, a total of one hundred ninety thousand nine hundred and twenty-one (190,921) voters, are registered to vote in the three hundred and thirty-eight (338) polling stations within the district.

“There will be internal distribution of materials to all sub counties for eventual distribution to polling stations, to ensure that polling commences on time on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th December 2021 respectively,” Byabakama said.

In the case of by-elections scheduled for 16th December 2021, EC says, designated candidates’ agents are advised to report to the Sub County offices before 6:00am on the morning of Thursday 16th December 2021, to observe the dispatch of the polling kits to their respective polling stations.

EC says participating political parties have been permitted to deploy not more than five (5) observers per sub-county.

“These accredited observers will be required to limit their activity to the designated areas (sub county), and Police has been notified to enforce this regulation,” Byabakama said, adding: “Participating political parties and independent candidates have been advised to submit names of two (2) observers, who will be accredited for purposes of accessing the Tally Center and observing the tallying process. The Commission will provide all those accredited with written clearance, relevant information and identification for the purpose of observing the by-election.”

The Commission calls upon all stakeholders in this by-election process to participate in the above activities in accordance with the guidelines issued for prevention of spread of COVID-19.

“I call upon the voters to come out early and freely cast their vote. I wish to assure you that Uganda Police Force has made adequate preparations to ensure a peaceful and secure electoral environment. I wish to warn the electorate in all affected electoral areas that any unlawful conduct will be decisively dealt with,” Byabakama said.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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