Ugandans have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, over what she terms as unlevelled ground in presidential campaigns.
In an online petition, the petitioners submit that the Presidential Elections Bill creates a greater advantage for President Yoweri Museveni, describing it as “highly unfair”.
The Presidential elections Bill has just been passed by Uganda parliament this and is expected to be signed by President Yoweri Museveni on Friday 2/10/15.
“Although this bill has so many problems and has been debated in a hurry, I find Clause 2 disturbing,” reads the petition.
Clause 2 seeks to amend section 21(1) to remove the requirement for a candidate to campaign in every district of Uganda.
Currently, section 21(1) requires the Electoral commission to determine the manner and period of campaign.
According to petition, reducing the period of campaign to 1 month gives a greater advantage to president Museveni “who has been actively campaigning since 2011 elections”.
Political analyst, Charles Rwomushana, recently noted that President Museveni was busy campaigning while police chief, Kale Kayihura, curtailed his boss’s opponents in the 2016 election.
Rwomushana said Museveni was campaigning under the guise of operation wealth creation programme and had even finished training militias [crime preventers] to help him “rig” 2016 elections.
“Mr Kale Kayihura needs to know that it’s the law that clears the Candidates to enjoy their rights. The said law in issue is the Presidential elections Act. The duty to conduct Uganda’s elections is imposed by law into Uganda’s electoral Commission. Simply the NRA government will have signalled it has no capacity to organise a peaceful, free, fair and credible election,” Rwomushana said.
The online petition to Kadaga also contends that Museveni’s rivals [other candidates] who attempted to consult the electorate were harassed, intimidated and in the case of Hon John Patrick Amama Mbabazi arrested.
“His [Mbabazi] supporters were teargassed and live ammunition was fired at them in the Eastern part of Uganda.”
It adds: “So far the only person who has engaged in active campaign is Yoweri Museveni. The same man who will sign the Bill on Friday 02/10/15.”
The chief petitioner, Alice Ruhindi, also Amama Mbabazi’s sister in-law hopes that the Bill will be thrown out so that the other candidates get a chance to visit the numerous districts of Uganda.
“To some extent this Bill has been designed to benefit only one man Yoweri Museveni. It may appear the elections in Uganda are already rigged through manipulation of rules to suit the man who has been in power since 1986. During this period USA and UK have witnessed change of leadership from so many hands.”
According to Ruhindi, it is impossible to campaign within one month.
She appealed to The Democratic Alliance [TDA] to stop focusing on internal fights and concentrate on “these tricksters”.
“Your vote is already being stolen with the help of parliament and Electoral Commission,” she urged.
Find the petition here: http://chn.ge/1KLsncq