The chairperson of Electoral Commission(EC),Justice Simon Byabakama, has said that the use of media platforms as radio and television stations to conduct campaigns is the only option during this period as the country continues to fight the Covid19 pandemic.
Speaking to journalists, Byabakama urged politicians to think about the lives of people because mass gatherings are a big risk.
He lashed out at those who keep on criticising everything and vowed that the exercise will take place despite the criticism because it is a constitutional mandate.
“When you look at the other processes for example, nomination for the candidates to appear in the nomination centre, and present themselves and necessary requirements, they have to do that physically or in person. The only difference this time is that the number of people who will accompany the candidate will have to be reduced,”he said during an interview.
He said that there is no need to worry because standard operating procedures will be observed during the process and the candidates will be represented by their agents.
“In the event things remain as they are with this pandemic, we shall require people to go home after casting their vote. They should go home to avoid congestion at the polling station,” he said.
He said that voting will not be scientific as applied to the campaigns and the commission will ensure free and fair elections.
“On polling day, there are going to be standard operating procedures against Covid-19 but we shall not allow big numbers of people in the queue so that we can observe social distancing and prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.
He said that presidential candidates will enjoy all the privileges with all the equal air time but they will have to meet their own costs.
He told all those who want to contest in the elections that the commission is ready to welcome their suggestions and condemned those criticising the process.
“The commission, as I have said many times and again, can’t work in isolation in ensuring that people of Uganda exercise their constitutional rights in choosing leaders of their choice, “he said.
He said it is very important for every person to participate in this activity to ensure the smooth running of the process more especially during this critical time.