Members of Parliament are divided on the new guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission stipulating that all presidential candidates will now be required to sign a memorandum of understanding with the commission committing themselves to abide by the guidelines during campaigns.
Some legislators said that given the contentious political situation the country, the move is long overdue but others said there is no need of having such guidelines now.
Since the presidential campaigns were flagged off on the 9th of November this year, some of the candidates including Robert Kyagulanyi of NUP, Patrick Amuriat of FDC, Gen Mugisha Muntu of ANT, Gen Henry Tumukunde and John Katumba have had running battles with the police for allegedly defying the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
These ugly scenes according to Justice Simon Byabakama, the EC chairperson, have compelled the commission to come up with new guidelines that are embedded in the memorandum of understanding that all presidential candidates will be required to sign to avert some of the likely violence during campaigns.
This idea has been welcomed by a majority of the legislators but others said there is no need of having such guidelines as the timing is bad.
Some of the MPs also condemned the on-going hate speeches by some candidates and the nepotism messages propagated on social media hence the need to have stringent laws to deal with the vice.