Forum for Democratic Change party (FDC) has unequivocally rejected digital campaigns proposed by the Electoral Commission ahead of the 2021 general elections.
Last week, the chairperson of the EC, Justice Simon Byabakama, banned all mass rallies ahead of the anticipated 2021 general elections. Byabakama said the move is in line with President Museveni’s directives peddled at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
According to party Spokesperson, Ssemujju Nganda digital campaigns whose effect is to ban freedom of assembly enshrined in Article 29(d) of the Constitution, offends the main pillars and foundation upon which constitutional democracy was built on in Uganda.
Objective II of the Constitution of Uganda titled Democratic Principles states that, “The State shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.”
“The only election provided for in the Constitution is one in which citizens actively participate. Covid19 or no Covid19, the standards remain the same. For an election to be an election under the Constitution, it must be free and fair in which citizens actively participate. These elections are not elections of the Electoral Commission or candidates only. They are Uganda’s elections.” He said
Semujju said at every turn Justice Simon Byamukama has handled elections as a private matter. His commission terminated registration of voters a year before election denying more than one million citizens an opportunity to determine who their next leaders should be. This decision was taken before Covid 19 outbreak. The voters’ register remains a contested issue.
He revealed that Byamukama has banned campaigns handing over the initiative to his boss, the incumbent ruling NRM sole candidate, 75 year old Yoweri Museveni.
“We all know that the person who fears competition and fears assemblies is Yoweri Museveni. That is why he had through the Police given himself the powers to grant permission to people intending to hold rallies which the Constitutional Court nullified. In fact Museveni had blocked concerts and rallies even before Covid19.” He said
He said the country and Parliament in particular must discuss holding of elections in these circumstances.