Calls to reopen the country are growing by the day in Uganda and politicians have joined the chorus as they gear up to campaign for the February 2021 general election.
The pandemic struck just when the country was readying for an open political season. And now just emerging from no contact with voters, there are concerns about whether the election calendar and roadmap as set by the National Electoral Commission in December 2018 is still viable considering the time ‘’lost.’’
“The Commission has to fulfil Section 8 of the Presidential Elections Act and Section 9 of the Parliamentary Elections Act that provide appointment of nomination days and time,” reads the commission document, “for campaigns for presidential elections to commence latest by first week of September 2020 nomination of presidential candidates must have been completed latest third week of August.”
The first round of nominations must have been completed latest third week of July 2020, while nominations and campaigns for parliamentary elections “should commence latest by second week August 2020.”
This means that political parties must have held their own internal elections to select candidates. But, no party has started the process as yet because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sam Rwakoojo, the Secretary to the Electoral Commission told The EastAfrican that the roadmap has been disrupted and some special interest group elections that should have been held around this time (end of May to the beginning of June) can’t take place, yet they contribute to the national elections and the consequences of those delays are not clear at the moment.