Uganda: Woman, 4 More Join 2021 Presidential Race

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. The president is seeking a sixth term in office in 2021 after being in power for 33 years.

Five more presidential aspirants, including a woman, have notified the Electoral Commission (EC) of intentions to consult ahead of nominations for the 2021 presidential race.

This brings to 29 the total number of aspirants.

While announcing the end of display of voters' register yesterday, Justice Simon Byabakama, the EC chairperson, told journalists that the new aspirants include Dr Daniel Okello, Pr Godwin Ssempebwa Katuwadde, Dr Amir Kagumba, Mr Dan Matsiko, and Ms Darlen Kamusiime, the only woman daring President Museveni.

"It is crazy. From the last time I addressed you, we have received more five names and others could be coming. When they come, we shall instruct them to follow the necessary procedure to inform the police about their intended consultations," Justice Byabakama said.

The only familiar person among the aspirants is Mr Matsiko who contested for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president in 2018, but fetched only two votes.

Mr Matsiko said: "I have a ground to start from because when I was campaigning for the FDC presidency, I moved across the country. We have to end this regime."

Last week, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, the former minister of Security, who up to 2018 had served in President Museveni's Cabinet, announced his intention to run for presidency.

He is one of the 24 men who want Mr Museveni's job. More men and women are expected to join the race.

However, for any person to be confirmed as a candidate, he or she must be nominated by EC upon fulfilment of statutory requirements.

Some of the other presidential hopefuls include Nyero Francis Elton Lakelle, who has attempted to contest in several parliamentary constituencies in Acholi Sub-region without success, and Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias, Bobi Wine, under his People Power pressure group.

Voters' register display

Meanwhile, the EC yesterday ended the display of the voters' register that commenced on February 19 at all the 34,344 polling stations across the country.

Justice Byabakama said the purpose of the exercise was to enable voters correct their particulars on the register.

"Following the conclusion of the display, the commission shall now proceed to display the list of all persons recommended for deletion or inclusion by the parish tribunal for a period of 10 days starting March 11 to March 20 at each parish or ward headquarters," he said.

Justice Byabakama also explained that the tribunal appointed by the magistrate of the area and comprising two elders of 60 years and above, a male and female as well as three other members, will be appointed in consultation with political parties and organisations participating in elections of those specific areas.

Former coordinator of the Citizen Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda, Mr Crispin Kaheru, however, doubted whether many people had cross-checked their particulars.

"The display of the voters' register is usually one of the major activities on the electoral roadmap. I am not sure if a significant portion of the voters went to their polling stations to confirm their details," Mr Kaheru said.

The EC recently said they deleted between 300,000 and 500,000 people during the update of the voters register.

More people are expected to be deleted on the recommendation of the selected tribunals.

Election act 2015

Duration. The Presidential Elections Act, 2015, states that: "An aspirant may consult in preparation for his or her nomination as a presidential candidate within 12 months before the nomination date. While consulting under subsection (1), a presidential aspirant may carry out nationwide consultations; prepare his or her manifesto and other campaign materials; raise funds for his or her campaign through lawful means and convene meetings of national delegates."

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