EC Chairman Justice Byabakama addressing journalists in Kampala recently

The Electoral Commission (EC) has released a roadmap to the local council and women council elections set for later this year, with voters having to line up behind their preferred candidates.

Addressing journalists in Kampala Thursday, the EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama said the election program will kick off in October while the polling will take place in November.

“The election shall be by voters lining behind the nominated candidates or their representatives, “Justice Byabakama said, referring to Section 111 (2) of the Local Government Act, adding: “Elections for the LCI will be held on November 21, 2017.”

He said the polling would follow registration of residents into a voters’ register scheduled for November 26 and 30; followed by the display of voter’s register, nomination and campaigning.

Justice Byabakama said that from 7am to 11 am, there will be assembly and verification of the voters by the village presiding officer followed by voter education, before the actual polling and counting of votes kicks off at 11am to 11:30am. The Electoral Commission estimates that the lining, voting and actual vote counting will only take 30 minutes.

Asked whether the 30 minutes will be enough for the entire process, the Electoral Commission boss said the process cannot take the entire day but a limited period of time.
“We thought 30 minutes will be enough to avoid people keeping in the line for long.”He added,” Thirty minutes is reasonable time.”

Speaking about a scenario when the entire village council committee comprises of illiterates, Justice Byabakama said that at least one of the members should know how to read and write. “The committee is comprised of 11 members and among them is secretary and my understanding is that villagers know themselves well and will choose one who is literate, “Byabakama said.

On whether the day will be declared a public holiday, Justice Byabakama said the EC will work it out with government so as not to disenfranchise those who might be working.