Electoral Commission warns 2021 Aspirants to stop illegal consultative meetings
The electoral commission has warned all candidates who aspire to run for presidential, parliamentary and other elective positions to desist from holding campaign meetings until the stipulated timeframe.
In a statement released Friday by Justice Simon Byabakama the EC chairman says at this moment in the electoral calendar, there are no candidates nominated for any electoral seats and therefore all aspirants should refrain from engaging in such activities as campaigns.
He adds that according to the electoral roadmap, campaigns for various positions as guided by law, commence after the Commission has duly nominated candidates for the respective elective offices.
“Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005, provides for aspirants to consult in preparation for nominations. Consultations, however, should be distinguished from campaigns which take the form of distributing materials, campaigns, holding rallies and meetings and canvassing/soliciting for votes envisaged under Sections 21 and 24 of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005” the chairman noted.
Justice Byabakama says that ordinarily, consultation is defined to mean exchange of views in an attempt to reach a decision. Accordingly the identified venue, mode and manner of the consultative meeting ought to facilitate the exchange of views between the aspirant and those being consulted.
“Aspirants are further urged to desist from holding rallies under the guise of conducting consultative meetings. Given the disruptive nature of processions to the public, aspirants are barred from conducting processions on public roads. Consultative meetings and campaigns can, however, take place internally within political parties and organizations, where their internal constitutions provide for such a process to choose the party flag bearers for various elective positions (Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Councils).”
He advises Political parties and organizations to guide their members concerning such internal party electoral calendar, including issuing clear preparation (Roadmap) for Party Primary Elections.
“The Electoral Commission advises all aspiring candidates for different political offices to respect the enabling electoral laws and abide by the Guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission” he added.