Parliament Issues Guidelines for EALA Elections
All members of Parliament will vote for only nine candidates of their choice but taking into considerations, the shades of opinion represented in the 10th August House.
According to guidelines issued by Ms Jane Kibirige, the Clerk to Parliament, there will be no ring-fencing of slots to political parties as has been the practice.
“Members will vote only nine candidates and the top nine will be declared winners and gazetted,” she said on Monday. Ms Kibirige made the announcement during an interface with all the 47 candidates to brief them on the voting criteria. The Clerk also announced that final arrangements will be announced by Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament.
The members will be kept in the VIP room on arrival and plenary will start at 9:30 am. All candidates will be allowed only seven minutes with the first candidate expected to enter by 10:00 am.
Candidates will be ushered into the Chambers one at a time according to their order on the list. The list starts with Democratic Party Candidate Fred Mukasa Mbidde, followed by the Forum for Democratic Change and National Resistance Movement candidates as the alphabet for the respective shades of opinion, followed by independents with their alphabets.
Voting will begin when all candidates have finished speaking and voting will take place at four different polling points in the South Wing (Main) Parking.
“This is because of the large number of the members and all the four will cater for the different members depending on their alphabetical order and ease the polling exercise,” said Jane Kibirige, the Clerk to Parliament.
The clerk will be the Returning office while several staff of parliament will help her as polling assistants and presiding officers respectively. Candidates will be allowed their own polling agents with a maximum of two per candidate as a restrictive undertaking for the numbers.
At the end of the polling exercise, results will be ranked according to scores made, with the top scorer on top, after which, the top nine candidates will be announced winners and gazetted as Uganda’s representatives to EALA 2017-2022.
However, candidates have been barred from campaigning within the polling ground, while the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga will declare the final winners.
Forum for Democratic Change National Secretary for Mobilisation Ingrid Turinawe blamed the House for the late release of guidelines, describing the exercise as unfair from the start.
“It is the first election across the world where candidates are given guidelines just hour to the election,” she said and also added that, “this has been extremely unfair to some of us but none the less, I am determined to defend by victory.”
Parliament has 431 members where NRM leads with the majority 297, followed by independents 66 while FDC has 36, DP 15 and UPC has only 6.
A total of 47 candidates will face the ballot with independents, dominating at 37 followed by NRM 6, FDC 2 while UPC and DP each has one candidate.