The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has rejected the proposal of scientific campaigns for the forthcoming general elections saying the current situation doesn’t favour free and fair elections.
FDC noted that scientific elections are not possible in the country right now because some border districts are still under lockdown.
The remarks followed the release of a revised roadmap by the Electoral Commission aimed at guiding how campaigns and elections will be conducted as the country continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
While addressing the media at the party headquarters in Kampala, the party spokesperson, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, said the pronouncement whose effect is to ban freedom of assembly enshrined in Article 29(d) of the Constitution, offends the main pillars and foundation upon which constitutional democracy was built.
“Objective II of our Constitution titled Democratic Principles states that: “The state shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their governance,” Ssemujju said.
He noted that the population is under immense distress at this time because arcades are still closed, boda bodas are not allowed to carry passengers, taxis are carrying half capacity while salons and bars are still closed.
“This is not a conducive environment in which a roadmap should be issued. No wonder the Electoral Commission didn’t carry out enough consultations,” he said.
He said the only election provided for in the Constitution is one in which citizens actively participate.
“COVID or no COVID, the standards remain the same. For an election to be an election under the Constitution, it must be free and fair in which citizens actively participate.
These elections are not elections of the Electoral Commission or candidates only. They are Uganda’s elections,” he noted.
He accused Justice Simon Byabakama of handling elections as a private matter.
He said the commission terminated the registration of voters a year before the elections denying more than one million citizens an opportunity to determine who their next leaders should be.
“This decision was taken before the Covid-19 outbreak. The voters’ register remains a contested issue. Byabakama has now banned campaigns handing over the initiative to his boss, the incumbent ruling NRM sole candidate, seventy-five-year-old Yoweri Museveni,” he added.
He noted that the person who fears competition and fears assemblies is President Museveni.
Ssemujju said that the FDC National Executive Committee and Parliamentary Caucus will this Friday, June 26th discuss this matter further with a view of petitioning the court and the citizens.