The Electoral Commission has unveiled a new roadmap for the 2021 elections, highlighting the key dates for the commencement of various electoral activities.
The activities include nominations, campaigns and polling for various elective positions including presidential, General Parliamentary and Local Government Councils.
The roadmap also highlights the period for the conduct of elections for Special Interest Groups (Persons with Disability, Older Persons and Youth) Committees from Village to National Levels.
The election process was supposed to have already started but some arrangments were postponed due to the disruption of coronavirus pandemic.
According to the EC chairman, the electoral body was already implementing preliminary activities under the Roadmap for the 2020/2021 General Elections such as; update and display of the National Voters Register and Registers of Special interest groups, but some of the activities were halted after the government declared a lockdown on the 23 March 2020.
“The Commission was particularly carrying out activities for the conduct of elections for the Special Interest Groups (Persons with Disability, Older Persons, Youth) Committees from Village to National Levels. This was to be followed by other preparatory activities for elections of Local Government Councils, Members of Parliament and the President,” a statement signed by Justice Simon Byabakama, the EC chairman reads in part.
“The Electoral Commission postponed the activities under the Roadmap, in response to measures introduced by Government to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. This is because electoral activities involve public gatherings and hence pose high COVID-19 risk of person-to-person and object-to-person transmissions.”
“As a result of the postponement, the Commission has lost three months of critical Roadmap activities. The postponement of Roadmap activities also caused inconvenience to various stakeholders in the electoral process. This includes political parties and organizations, which were preparing internal primaries to identify persons to contest as candidates at various elective levels, as well as individuals who are aspiring to contest as independent candidates at various levels. All the inconvenience is regretted, but as we all know, the postponement was inevitable. ”
“The Commission recognises the constitutional right of citizens to vote and choose their leaders, as well as our duty to facilitate the exercise of those rights. The Commission is further mindful of the need to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all stakeholders during the electoral process," Justice Byabakama says in the statement.
The Commission says the new roadmap has been drafted with guidance from the Ministry of Health.
Some of the key dates in the revised Roadmap are as follows:
1. Political Party and Organisations to identify flag bearers 22nd June – 21st July 2020
2. Deadline for resignation by public servants wishing to participate in Special Interest Groups (SIGs) Committees Elections 29th June 2020 3. Nomination of Village SIGs (Older Persons, Persons with Disability and Youth) Committees Candidates (see attached detailed for progressive levels up to National) 5th August 2020
4. Deadline for establishment of academic papers with Electoral Commission by aspiring candidates for Local Government 7th July 2020
5. Deadline for establishment of academic papers with Electoral Commission by aspiring candidates for Parliamentary Elections 11th August 2020
6. Deadline for establishment of academic papers with Electoral Commission by aspiring candidates for Presidential Elections 1st September 2020
7. Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for Parliamentary Elections 12th July 2020
8. Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for Local Government Councils Elections 6th August 2020
9. Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for SIG Representative to Parliament 7th August 2020
10. Deadline for resignation by public servants aspiring to contest for Presidential Elections 31st October 2020
11. Period for the nomination of candidates for Local Governments, including SIGs 7th – 17th September 2020
12. Nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections 12th – 13th October 2020
13. Nomination of Candidates for Presidential Elections 2nd – 3rd November 2020
14. Harmonisdation of Campaign Programme and Signing of Memorandum 4th – 9th November 2020
15. Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Local Government 28th September 2020 – 8th January 2021
16. Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Parliamentary Elections 20th October 2020 – 8th January 2021
17. Conduct of candidates’ campaigns digitally for Presidential Elections 10th November 2020 – 8th January 2021
18. Polling period for General Elections (exact polling dates to be appointed in due course) 10th January – 8th February 2021