By Keefa Nuwahereza
The Electoral Commission reveals that so far, at least 29 presidential aspirants have declared intentions to run for president in 2021 polls against President Yoweri Museveni.
Few of the aspirants are publicly known with the most recognisable faces being Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine (MP for Kyadondo East), Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde (former security minister), Elton John Mabirizi, Norbert Mao (DP President), Maureen Kyala, Moses Byamugisha, Ruhinda Maguru, Darlen Kamusiime, Grace Kabarungi, Joseph Kabuleta, Charles Rwomushana, Mugisha Muntu among others.
However, more and bigger names are expected in the race as political parties have not yet convened their national delegates’ conferences to elect their presidential flag bearers.
While Bobi Wine has already hit the consultation trail, other candidates are yet to embrace the process.
The latest to enter the race is Lt Gen Tumukunde, who until 2018, was Security minister in President Museveni’s government.
The Presidential Elections Act,2015, states that “an aspirant may consult in preparation for his or her nomination as a presidential candidate within 12 months before the nomination date.
While consulting under subsection (1), a presidential aspirant may carry out nationwide consultations; prepare his or her manifesto and other campaign materials; raise funds for his or her campaign through lawful means and convene meetings of national delegates.
Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, the EC chairperson, has confirmed that presidential aspirants are allowed to consult on their candidature but added that they should do it within the parameters of the existing laws that distinguish consultations from campaigns.
“We wish to point out that consultations ought to be distinguished from campaigns which take the form of distributing materials, holding rallies and meetings besides canvassing or soliciting for votes envisaged under Section 21 and 24 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005,” Justice Byabakama told Daily Monitor recently.
However, many politicians who intend to contest in the 2021 election are unhappy with the E.C’s Revised Roadmap for the 2020/2021 elections, especially in regards to conducting scientific campaigns as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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