Uganda: 14 Presidential Aspirants Return Signatures to EC for Verification

19 October 2020

At least 14 presidential aspirants have returned forms to the Electoral Commission (EC), including signatures seconding them for verification ahead of nomination early next month for the 2021 presidential polls.

Mr Paul Bukenya, the EC acting spokesperson, told Daily Monitor yesterday that they are considering only 100 signatures from at least 98 districts presented and it does not matter how many endorsements one presents for verification.

"It is good that some people are presenting more signatures than the ones required but that plays to their advantage because when one presents only 100 signatures and we find that three do not qualify, then you have to go back to the district to look for them. That can be tedious than collecting signatures at once," Mr Bukenya said.

Museveni cleared

Top of the list for those that have returned forms include President Museveni whose documents, according to EC, have been verified and cleared for his nomination scheduled for November 2.

Other aspirants who returned forms are Mr Charles Bbaale of Ecological Party of Uganda (EPU), Ms Elizabeth Lugudde-Katwe on the independent candidate, and Mr Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta on an independent ticket.

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, is another presidential aspirant who has since returned signatures for verification under the National Unity Platform (NUP) party.

Last week, the party accused the security of raiding their party offices in Kamwonkya and taking away a number of party items, including signatures he was supposed to use for nomination.

Last evening, Bobi Wine posted on his social media platforms of how he had been able to collect fresh 33,000 signatures in two days, which he had handed to the EC for verification ahead of the nominations.

"...But also worked hard for two days to get fresh signatures. We activated our structures countrywide and collected a fresh batch of signatures. Thankfully, there were a few districts whose signatures were still in the field by the time of the raid.

"Yesterday (Saturday), a team from our secretariat was able to submit 33,000 signatures from 109 districts of Uganda," a statement on his social media platforms reads.

Although the law provides for the nomination day as the deadline to submit signatures for verification, EC had earlier advised that candidates could submit the details at least two weeks to the nomination day to enable them to have ample time for verifying them.

The EC administrative deadline ended on Saturday, but Mr Bukenya said aspirants are free to bring in their signatures even after that date.

"The challenge is that they are now entering into the dangerous period for collecting signatures. What if they bring signatures that have a problem? That means they will be dancing in a dangerous zone but they are free to bring the forms even after next week," he said.

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