Does EC Plan to Set Different Days for Voting MPs, President?

The Electoral Commission Chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama, revealed that MPs will be voted on January 14, 2021 but did not indicate whether the president will also be voted on the same date like it has been the norm.

Ugandans have been left guessing after the Electoral Commission today announced the voting date for Members of Parliament –MPs but remained tightlipped on when electorates will cast their votes for president.

The Electoral Commission Chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama, revealed that MPs will be voted on January 14, 2021 but did not indicate whether the president will also be voted on the same date like it has been the norm.

Since 1996, Ugandans have been voting MPs and president on the same date but Justice Byabakama’s silence on voting date for president has left Ugandans speculating. Byabakama told journalists that the EC could not announce date for voting president when presidential nominations haven’t been conducted.

At least 80 people including eight women have picked nomination forms for presidency even though only 19 have so far returned them with the required endorsement signatures. Presidential aspirants are required to have at least a 100 endorsement signatures from 98 out of 135 districts.

Byabakama said voting date will be announced after presidential nomination exercise expected to be conducted next month on 2nd and 3rd. So far President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power for 35 years is the only candidate who has allegedly met all the prerequisite of standing for presidency.

Museveni is now waits to pay 20 million shillings as required nomination fee for all presidential aspirants so that he can start canvassing votes to extend his four-decade brutal rule. Museveni’s biggest challenger is currently reggae star turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.

In all the previous elections, Museveni’s victory has been questioned but he uses the forces among other police and military to gag whoever disagrees with his leadership style. Other expected to be on presidential ballot paper include Rtd Maj Gen Mugisha Gregg, Rtd Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde and 2016 presidential aspirant Joseph Elton Mabirizi.