Legislator, cum singer, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine has written to the Electoral Commission notifying them of his intention to carry out consultations over his 2021 presidential bid.
In a December 3 letter to the EC chairperson, Kyagulanyi says he intends to stand as president n the 2021 general elections under article 103 of the Constitution and is therefore set to start consulting electorates over the same.
Quoting section 3(1) of the Presidential Elections Act 2005, Bobi Wine says as an aspirant, he may consult in preparation for his nomination as a presidential candidate within 12 months before the date of the nomination.
“I now write in line with section 3(3) to of the Act to introduce myself to you as an aspiring presidential candidate and accordingly notify you of my intention to carry out nationwide consultations. I also intend to carry out other activities envisaged by the Act as stipulated above,” reads in part, Kyagulanyi’s letter to the Electoral Commission chairperson.
He says he has already perused through the election roadmap and therefore his actions are in accordance with the same, adding that he has also copied in the Inspector General of Police of his intended consultations.
The Electoral Commission spokesperson, Jotham Taremwa recently said the commission would respond appropriately to Kyagulanyi in accordance with the law.
Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005 (1), (2) and (3) states: “An aspirant may consult in preparation for his or her nomination as a presidential candidate within 12 months before nomination date.”
It also stipulates, “While consulting, a presidential aspirant may carry out nationwide consultations, prepare his or her manifesto and other campaign materials, raise funds for his or her campaign through lawful means and convene meetings of national delegates.”
“While consulting, the aspirant shall introduce himself or herself to the commission and notify the relevant local council and the police of the area to which he or she goes,” the law adds.
The Kyadondo East legislator, however, may be in for another showdown with Police over the latest development.
A number of meetings organized by the singer cum legislator have in the past been stopped.
Bobi Wine’s consultation meetings are provided by a precedent from former presidential aspirant, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, who himself had a rope pulling debacle with the government and the EC over the same.
In the tussle that involved legal heads of Mbabazi and the EC, the latter argued that it was hard to determine the nature of consultation meetings by the former since they could involve large gatherings that were not accounted for by Sections 21 and 24 of the Presidential Elections Act.
However, Mbabazi’s consultations were also held back by the fact that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party to which he claimed was still a subscriber wrote to the EC clarifying that they had not given Mbabazi go-ahead to consult with members.
The EC also argued that it was not within their mandate to sanction and monitor consultative meetings or gatherings until after a candidate was nominated. This put Mbabazi in the open for a harsh government arm and within no time, his consultative meetings were repulsed with tear gas and bullets in Soroti and Mbale respectively.
But Bobi Wine is upbeat that his consultative meetings will be allowed to happen.
“We are hoping that the Commission, as well as the security agencies, will do what is required of them by the law, and not seek to unduly interfere with our activities. Our schedule of activities will be made public soon.”