By. Julius & Rogers
The electoral commission has today issued the COVID 19 2020/21 electoral roadmap with tough standard operating procedures to all political actors to follow as they go about their respective political activities.
Of recent FDC and ANT party members have condemned the commission for being a stumbling block to their political activities among them holding the party’s delegates conferences after the commission delaying to release the new guidelines.
According to the chairman of the commission Justice Simon Byabakama, the released guidelines will be followed during pre-nomination, nomination and campaign activities as a way to avert the spread of COVID 19, but warns that the guidelines are subject to change depending on the health situation in the country.
He emphasizes that COVID 19 pandemic has presented unique health and safety challenges to the manner in which usual election activities covering pre-nomination, nomination, campaigns and polling day activities ought to be conducted.
These SOPs incorporated measures and guidelines put in place by the ministry of health and the outcome of consultations made by the commission with various stakeholders in the electoral process to prevent and combat person to person, person to object and object to person spread of the virus during the conduct of election activities.
Further the commission urges presidential, parliamentary and local council aspirants to pick nomination forms from their website or personally from the commission’s headquarters and district offices starting August 10th 2020.
With nominations starting very soon, followed by campaigns starting in September this year, aspirants have been instructed to come with only two salon cars with each carrying four occupants, wearing masks apart from the incumbent, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The aspirants will also not be allowed to hold procession after nominations as this is aimed at curbing huge numbers of people who might end up spreading COVID 19.
However, he also asks state owned media to be partial during the coming electoral time as per the electoral laws of the nation, with public media reminded not to inflate charges to all candidates.
According to the commission, all political parties are now free to kick off with the planned political activities following the issuance of these new guidelines.