The Democratic Party (DP) has challenged the government to declare a state of emergency with immediate effect saying that the current situation doesn’t favour free and fair elections given the fact that the country is still battling with covid19 pandemic.
Speaking to the journalists at the party headquarters in Kampala, Fred Mwesigwa, the party presidential press secretary, noted that to prevent deaths which might happen due to COVID -19, it is the right time for the government to extend elections for six month as it looks for the vaccine and other preventive medicines.
“The government insists that the threat of covid19 is so grave and that is why public gatherings, including religious gatherings, are banned. But the same government finds it unnecessary to declare a state of emergency to allow for flexibility in implementing the election time table,” he said.
Mwesigwa claimed that the threat of Covid-19 is being exaggerated to swindle pubic funds and rig elections by undermining the will of the people.
“If indeed the pandemic is as severe as it is said to be, then the proper thing is to declare a state of emergency and focus on saving lives instead of a deceitful trade-off in the name of “scientific” elections that may be overrun by the emotions that an election season generates,” he noted.
He urged parliament during its engagements with the Electoral Commission to make it clear that scientific elections place a discomfort on the constitutional right of Ugandans to free, fair and credible elections.
“Elections cannot just be reduced to the act of casting ballots. Elections must provide for active engagement between the voters and those seeking to be elected to public offices,” he said.
He added that the infrastructure for digital campaigns is inadequate in most of the country and even where it may be available, they are too costly and inaccessible for various reasons.