The Electoral Commission (EC) on Saturday announced the suspension of campaign meetings in some districts, saying they have been declared high-risk areas for spreading the coronavirus.
“The EC has suspended campaign meetings in districts/cities categorized by Ministry of Health as having a high spread of Covid19,” Paul Bukenya, the EC spokesman, said in a tweet today afternoon.
“From 26/12/20, no campaign meetings will be held in Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Kabarole, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, Kampala & Tororo.”
Some presidential candidates had not visited these areas to campaign. The announcement affects other elected positions as well.
In other election news, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the chairperson of the EC, has said they have started the process of packing ballot papers for presidential and parliamentary elections.
“As you are aware, the Electoral Commission, received the first delivery of ballot papers and Declaration of Results Forms for District Woman Representative to Parliament, on Wednesday 9th December 2020,” the chairperson said.
“This has since been followed by the delivery of ballot papers and Declaration of Results (DR) Forms for other elective positions, namely, Presidential, Directly-elected Members of Parliament and Local Government Councils (Chairperson and Councilors in partial consignments.”
The packing, which will last seven days, is taking place at the EC warehouse in Banda, Kampala and it started today.
Presidential and parliamentary elections are set for January 14, 2021.
“The packing process is expected to take a period of seven days, after which the Commission will embark on the second round of packing materials for District/City Local Government Councils Elections,” he said.
The ballot papers and DR Forms are the last items to be included in the polling kit. The kit will then be sealed and the serial numbers of the seals will be recorded and shared with political parties and candidates.
The kit will be stored in the warehouse, awaiting dispatch to the respective districts on a date that will be communicated to stakeholders.
The polling kit, according to EC, includes the following items: Ballot Papers; Declaration Results Forms; Polling Register (National Voters' Register for the respective Polling Station); Generic Polling Forms which include Accountability of Ballot Papers, Official Report Book, among others.
The kit also holds generic materials such as the ink pad, indelible ink, pens, among others.
Political parties and all candidates for Presidential Elections were invited to observe the packing of the materials and they have also been invited to observe the packing of the ballot papers and DR Forms.