The vacancy of the Member of Parliament for Kamuli Municipality occurred when the Court of Appeal nullified the election of former MP Hon. Rehema Watongola. As required by law the statutory deadline for conducting a Parliamentary by-election is sixty (60) days after notification from Clerk to Parliament on the occurrence of the vacancy.
The Commission received the notice on 17th February 2017, and therefore, the statutory deadline for holding the by-election is 17th April 2017.
Accordingly, the Electoral Commission has approved the electoral programme for by-election of Member of Parliament for Kamuli Municipality, with the following key dates:
Banning of Fundraising Activities in Kamuli Municipality: During this by-election programme, no fundraising activities shall be allowed in Kamuli Municipality. The purpose of this ban is to allow a leveled-ground for all candidates in the race. For avoidance of doubt, this ban takes effect from Monday 13th March 2017, which is the cut-off date for registration of voters and transfer of voting location in Kamuli Municipality, and will continue until polling day. Those found to be contravening the law shall be dealt with accordingly.
Stakeholders Meeting: 10th March 2017: The Electoral Commission will hold a stakeholders meeting on Friday 10th March 2017 at Kamuli District Headquarters, to discuss any issues of concern that may affect the conduct of the by-election. This meeting will also help to create good understanding between the Commission and stakeholders in Kamuli Municipality, to achieve high participation in the various activities, in accordance with the laws.
The stakeholders who have been invited to the meeting include the district leadership, representatives of political parties and organisations, representatives of civil society organisations, security officials, religious leaders, opinion leaders, sub county supervisors and members of the press.
Update of the Voters’ Register: Kamuli Municipality currently has a total number of 27,301 registered voters and 54 polling stations. An update of the Voters’ Register will be conducted from Thursday 9th - Monday 13th March 2017, at update stations within each of the ten (10) Wards in Kamuli Municipality, starting at 8:00am till 6:00pm, on each of the appointed dates, including weekends. This exercise will enable Ugandan citizens of 18 years and above, who either reside or originate in wards within Kamuli Municipality, and who have not had their photographs and bio-data taken before by the Electoral Commission for purposes of registration for elections, to do so.
All registered voters who wish to transfer to new voting locations shall be able to do so during this exercise. The Electoral Commission has appointed 13th March 2017 as the cut-off date for registration and/or transfer of voting location.
Display of the Voters’ Register: The Electoral Commission has appointed Wednesday 22nd – Friday 31st March 2017, as the period for display of the National Voters’ Register in Kamuli Municipality. The display of the Voters’ Register shall begin at 8:00am and end at 6:00pm at all polling stations in the Municipality, on each of the appointed dates, including weekends. During the display, voters are urged to turn up in large numbers and check for the correctness of their particulars, and confirm that photographs appear against correct particulars. Voters are further urged to report to the display officer: the dead, the non-citizens, the under-aged, and those who belong to another Ward, so that they are removed from the Register.
There will be a display of lists of persons recommended for deletion from the Register for a period of six (6) days, from 3rd – 8th March 2017, at the respective Ward Headquarters. The purpose of this supplementary display is to enable any person who may have been wrongly recommended for deletion to raise an objection to the Parish Tribunal. The Parish Tribunal may reinstate the person if convinced of the genuineness of the objection.
Nomination of Candidates, Inspection of Nomination Papers, Campaigns & Polling: The nomination of candidates shall be conducted on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th March 2017, at the Office of the Returning Officer in Kamuli Municipality. The nomination will be followed by a period of six (6) days, that is, from Thursday 23rd –Tuesday 28th March 2017, during which members of the general public will have access to the candidates’ nomination papers, and will be able to lodge complaints, if any, on suitability of the candidates to contest in the by-election.
Campaign meetings shall be held for a period of fifteen (15) days, that is, from Monday 27th March until Monday 10th April 2017.
The campaign meetings or public rallies shall be conducted only within the stipulated time, that is, from 7:00am until 6:00pm on each of the campaign days.
All candidates are urged to observe law and order during this exercise and to conduct their campaign meetings in accordance with the harmonized programme. Hate language will not be tolerated at all.
Polling shall take place on Wednesday 12th April 2017 at all polling stations in Kamuli Municipality, and (polling) shall start at 7:00am and close at 4:00pm.
Compliance with the Law: The Commission urges all aspiring candidates and stakeholders to acquaint themselves with the relevant laws, in order to appreciate their respective roles and responsibilities before, during and after the by-election.
Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon, Chairperson, Electoral Commission