Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda claims that President Yoweri Museveni is now in charge of the country’s electoral process and not the Electoral Commission (EC).
The EC boss Justice Simon Byabakama last week relaxed campaign Covid-19 guidelines as it issued new directives on election campaigns.
EC relaxes on campaign Covid guidelines as it announces polling date for MPs
According to the new directives, candidates will now be allowed to hold campaigns that are as long as they don’t exceed 70 people in number.
Byabakama also advised that candidates should identify suitable venues within their constituencies for the meetings and notify the respective returning officers to inspect them together with police and district Covid-19 taskforce to ensure observance of the set Covid-19 guidelines.
This, according to the FDC spokesperson and Kira Municipality Member of Parliament Ssemujju, is like being handed over to their National Resistance Movement opponents.
Ssemujju made these remarks while appearing on NBS Television’s Morning Breeze.
Ssemujju argued, “If you’re the EC and you’re to subordinate yourself to the regulations of Covid-19, of course (President) Museveni speaks through Ministry of Health. The EC is simply handing us over to our competitors.”
Semujju said that for the venue to be confirmed by the Covid-19 district taskforce is a wrong move because the head of the head of the task force on district level is the RDC, who is under President Museveni.
Ssemujju said, “In the area where I am campaigning, the RDC is also campaigning for NRM. So that is the one to approve my meeting? This is going to be the first campaign of its kind in Uganda.”
“I am not sorry for breaking Covid-19 guidelines,” says Ssemujju
Ssemujju said that the stated campaigning period also favors the incumbents which is not fair for the newbies.
“The campaign period of November 9, 2020 to January is very short for someone who is new and campaigning. It is also coupled with a lot of restrictions. The EC does not behave like it is in full control and I don’t expect them to be,” Ssemujju added.
Ssemujju, however, noted that it was a wise decision for the EC to come out with the dates of the campaign period beyond because candidates were living in anticipation.
Ssemujju urged the EC to act like it is in charge and independent as they claim to be.