The revised Electoral Commission roadmap that was launched yesterday to streamline 2021 general elections in the wake of Covid-19 has stirred controversy within opposition political circles.
The Democratic Party(DP) president General, Nobert Mao, questioned the practicability and wisdom of embracing a scientific approach to elections.
While addressing the media on Tuesday in Kampala, Mao said the directives have no legal backing and do not allow political parties to conduct internal activities to elect their representatives.
He explained that scientific elections will disenfranchise first time aspiring candidates who will have their work cut out against seasoned campaigners.
He said inaccessibility of the media in Uganda raises doubts on how these scientific campaigns will be done successfully.
“It is not possible to say people will campaign on radios and televisions. Do people know how many candidates are there in general elections? How many radio and television stations do we have in the country?We must not compromise the quality of elections. If scientific elections are not based on consensus by all the players, there will be no tournament,”he said.
Mao said Covid-19 has greatly affected electoral activities of different political parties since many have never conducted internal elections that play a big role in the forthcoming elections therefore, the electoral commission directives can not simply work out.
As away forward ,Mao said the party will conduct a dialogue with all the political players to harmonise their positions on the matter.
“We have to engage with the Electoral Commission to unpack the scientific elections. We can’t do an election just to have a ritual. We are also having debate in DP on how to proceed with our internal processes,”he said.
While addressing the media at Uganda Journalists Association(UJA) headquarters in Kampala, Asuman Basalirwa, the JEEMA president, said that he plans to take this matter to the floor of parliament.
“Parliament should discuss and take a position on this issue because there are many irregularities and if left unattended to,even, the Electoral Commission itself will have problems, “he said.
However, Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM secretariat communications officer dismissed opposition concerns as the usual lamentations.
“We expected this. Really when you look at the Covid-19 health situation in this country there is no way one would expect that Ugandans would be subjected to campaigns. Public rallies are not possible at the moment,”he said.
He said that NRM was only waiting for electoral commission to announce the new roadmap to kick off its activities.
“We have been given two months plus for you to convince Ugandans scientifically using the media. I think that is good enough.People know the capacity of likable candidates,”he said.Download Our News App Here