The Electoral Commission (EC) has asked the Police to take action against candidates who defy campaign guidelines in garnering for support ahead of the 2021 general elections that will take place on January 14.
EC chairperson Simon Byabakama noted that some candidates, including presidential candidates, are holding their campaigns in a manner that violates the guidelines for conducting of campaign meetings.
“Non-compliance with the guidelines issued for the campaign period will necessitate intervention by law enforcing agencies among other measures. The Commission wishes to emphasize that the health and safety of voters, their families, candidates, security personnel, the media and the general public should be of paramount consideration,” Byabakama warned in a statement.
He said it’s unacceptable for any presidential, parliamentary and local government council candidate to mobilize their supporters to gather at campaign venues in large numbers, make impromptu stopovers in trading centers, attract and address public gatherings along busy highways from their car rooftops.
The Commission noted that some candidates and their supporters are not wearing face masks during public meetings which put all participants including the candidates at the risk of contracting COVID-19.
“The Commission reiterates that processions and public/mass rallies remain banned in accordance with the measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he noted.
Byabakama warned some candidates who conduct processions along public roads, through towns and trading centers also hold rallies in non-designated venues as per the harmonized campaign Programme.
“This is in violation of the Commission’s guidelines that the campaigns should be conducted in observance of standard operating procedures (social distancing, hand washing, and the wearing of masks) and in designated places,” he cautioned.