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EC to Use Coercive Means on Presidential Aspirants Flouting Directives :: Uganda Radionetwork
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EC to Use Coercive Means on Presidential Aspirants Flouting Directives

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The Electoral Commission banned all processions and mass gatherings during and after nominations. This according to Byabakama was done to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Aspirants were only permitted to go with only 10 people with three accompanying cars.
Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi. URN Picture

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The Electoral Commission - EC has vowed to deal harshly with presidential aspirants who flout directives put in place to be followed during next week’s nominations.

Speaking to journalists today at the Electoral Commission headquarters in Kampala, EC Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi said that although they disclaim using force at the onset of the presidential elections, they will not look on while aspirants make a mockery of their directives.

The Electoral Commission banned all processions and mass gatherings during and after nominations. This according to Byabakama was done to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Aspirants were only permitted to go with only 10 people with three accompanying cars.  

//Cue in; "the essential people…  

Cue out… nominated, not at all.”//

Speaking to reporters this week, Patrick Amuriat Oboi, FDC presidential flag bearer said that he was not going to respect the order of only 10 people. He called on all party supporters to escort him from the party headquarters at Najjanankumbi to Kyambogo University playground which will host the nomination activity.

Also today at the Electoral Commission, Lewis Rubongoya, the National Unity Platform Secretary-General said that their presidential flag bearer, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu will be escorted to Kyambogo by his supporters although he said they won’t be able to access the nomination Centre.

Meanwhile, Byabakama also said that all candidates and nine of their supporters who will be allowed to access the nomination Centre must first present COVID-19 certificate showing negative results. He said this was done to protect all the people who will access the Centre. He, however, allayed the fears of aspirants who might test positive. He said, in such circumstances, the aspirant will be nominated even in absentia provided his nominator and seconder are physically present.

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Earlier on, the Commission had said that aspirants, and their entourage were supposed to meet the costs of the test. But Justine Kasule Lumumba the Secretary-General of the NRM who was among the aspirants or their agent who met the Electoral Commission today to agree on the nomination dos and don’ts said that it was the government to meet this cost.

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But even with the concession that the Electoral Commission will pay for the cost of the tests, some aspirants were not comfortable with the ministry of health carrying out these tests. They expressed fear that they might give them a positive test yet actually they are negative.

Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the presidential flag bearer of the Alliance for National Transformation also wondered the rationale of a one-off test yet they are going to be meeting several people in the coming two months of campaigning.

//Cue in; "the testing for Covid

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Rubongoya asked the Electoral Commission to apply the same standards when dealing with aspirants regardless of their political leaning.

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So far 10 people have been cleared to be nominated for the 2021 presidential elections. The two-day nomination exercise will start on Monday, November 2 at Kyambogo University playground. Successfully nominated aspirants will be given only one police patrol car with security personnel. During the 2016 elections, every candidate was given a car and a patrol car with security.

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