The Electoral Commission warned all aspiring candidates in all elective positions for the upcoming 2021 general elections to desist from consultative meetings or early campaigns until an official green flag is waved for the same.
In a circular dated May 15 2019 from the chairman Simon Byabakama, EC claims that they have noted a number of persons aspiring for various elective positions in the general election 2021, have started conducting public meetings supposedly to consult the electorate in preparation for their candidature in 2021 elections.
Although the EC do not specify which specific candidates they have noted, they also claim that these candidates are addressing rallies, putting up posters, distributing campaign materials and soliciting for votes ‘contrary to the campaign period set out in the Electoral Roadmap’.
“At this moment in the electoral calendar, there are no persons nominated as candidates for presidential, parliamentary and local government elections. All aspirants are therefore, urged to refrain from engaging in active campaigns for these elective positions,” the circular reads in part.
EC claims that despite the law providing for consultations in preparation for nominations, the same consultations should be distinguished from campaigns which take the form of holding rallies and meetings.
“Ordinarily, consultation is defined to mean exchange of views in an attempt to reach a decision. Accordingly, the identified venue, mode and manner of the consultation meeting ought to facilitate the exchange of views between the aspirant and those being consulted,” the circular continues.
EC therefore warned aspirants to avoid conducting ‘rallies in the guise of consultations’.
The EC warning comes while President Museveni is traversing the country meeting leaders of different sub regions in what he has termed as wealth creation drive around the country.
Although Museveni’s creation drive starts with zonal meetings with local leaders in hotel premises, he further continues to hold rallies with local residents at field grounds.
President Museveni who is also officially NRM’s aspirant for the presidential position, has so far held two rallies; Fort Portal, Masindi, and will address another rally in Lira today.
His arch rival, Dr Kizza Besigye has also been traversing the country holding different meetings with FDC and peoples’ government supporters, the latest being in Lugazi where he was intercepted by police and army.
Singer Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has also time and again been seen holding meetings, however, most of them have been within his premises in Magere, Gayaza, Wakiso District with the latest being an invite to Muslims for Iftar.
Lord Mayor hopeful Joseph Mayanja, alias Jose Chameleone was recently and Jinja Karooli in Kawempe where he held a rally and a football match, he addressed a number of people and asked for their support in 2021.