The Electoral Commission (EC) has on tuesday issued new guidelines for 2021 General Election in the wake of Coronavirus Pandemic.
EC has banned all political gatherings and rallies in the ‘Revised Roadmap for 2021 General Election’ basing on Ministry of Health guidelines in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
“The Constitution commands us to hold elections within a specific timeframe. In those circumstances we must devise means amid challenges at hand to comply with constitutional requirements,” Justice Simon Byabakama said during his opening remarks, before he went ahead to reveal the new E.C Roadmap for the 2021 elections.
“Political parties and aspiring independent candidates should ensure safe practices during primaries and other preparatory activities. Candidates, their agents and supporters are urged to strictly follow the guidelines on public meetings as issued by Ministry of Health
The Deadline for establishment of academic papers with EC by: aspirants for local government (7 July); Parliamentary Elections ((11 August); Presidential Elections (1 September).”
In his advice to all political actors, Byabakama said that; “If you want to lead people and care about their wellbeing, you should avoid acts that put their lives in danger. Don’t expose them to the virus. That’s why mass rallies should be avoided.”
He advised that “Political parties and organisations as well as individuals aspiring to contest as independent candidates should utilise the limited time provided in revised Roadmap, and prepare to participate in respective activities. Media owners should avail fair coverage to the candidates.”
Byamukama also revealed that some of the Nomination of village Special interest groups committees is due on August 5, 2020.
He noted that the deadline for political parties and organizations to identify flag-bearers is between 22 June -21 July,2020.
The deadline for resignation by public servants wishing to participate in special interest groups committee elections is 29th June 2020.
Local government council elections will be held on 6th August 2020 while election of SIG Representative to Parliament will be held on 7th August
Harmonization of Campaign Programme and Signing of Memorandum will be held on 4th – 9th November 2020
Period for nomination of candidates for Local Governments, including SIGs between 7th – 17th September 2020.
Nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections between 12th – 13th October 2020.
Nomination of Candidates for Presidential Elections to be held between 2nd – 3rd November 2020.
Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Local Government to be done between 28th September 2020 –8th January 2021.
Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Parliamentary Elections to be done 20th October 2020 –8th January 2021.
Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Presidential Elections to be done on 10th November 2020- 8th January 2021.
Polling period for General Elections (exact polling dates to be appointed in due course) 10th January – 8th February 2021.