Govt tasked to clarify on early campaigns

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Govt tasked to clarify on early campaigns
Dr Kizza Besigye

Francis Babu believes the road maps and talk of consultations was fake and political parties used the road maps to hide their agenda which is to campaign.

Veteran politician Francis Babu has urged the government and the Electoral Commission to clarify whether national campaigns have officially begun ahead of the 2026 general elections.

This call for transparency follows a series of mass rallies held by various political parties, ostensibly under the guise of consultations.

"We want to know, have the campaigns begun? EC and government should come out and tell us," said Babu.

According to the Electoral Commission's guidelines, candidates are permitted to conduct national consultations two years prior to the elections.

However, the recent uptick in political gatherings has raised questions about whether these activities are premature electioneering.

Babu believes the road maps and talk of consultations was fake and political parties used the road maps to hide their agenda which is to campaign.

Political analyst Gerald Walulya offers insight into the situation, suggesting that certain political parties may be leveraging these consultations as opportunities to communicate their manifestos to voters.

"Some parties, restricted in their ability to move freely across the country, seize any chance to engage with the electorate," he said.

Parties like the Democratic Party (DP), the National Unity Platform (NUP), and the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) are actively touring the country to register new members and bolster their support base.

Despite these efforts, questions have been raised regarding why these activities are not being conducted through regional offices, which could arguably be more efficient and less contentious.

The Electoral Commission chairperson Simon Byabakama says political parties are at liberty to mobilise their supporters ahead of the election and the manner of moblisation is up to them.

Byabakama said this must be done in accordance with the law.

"It is in their right to mobilise and get in touch with their grassroot base and make sure they are ready fo for the forthcoming elections," says Byabakama.

As political parties continue their activities, the need for clear guidance and enforcement of electoral rules becomes increasingly important to ensure a fair and orderly lead-up to the 2026 elections.

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