Uganda halts campaigning for January 14 vote in a number of districts | Uganda Information
Electoral Commission suspends presidential election campaign citing coronavirus risk as opposition screams badly.
Uganda has suspended all campaigns for the January presidential election in the capital and in 10 densely populated districts, citing coronavirus risk. However, critics said the real reason was the opposition’s popularity in these areas.
The East African country is expected to hold the presidential election on January 14th.
“The independent electoral commission has suspended campaign meetings in districts and cities that the Ministry of Health has classified as having a high level of coronavirus. As of December 26, 2020, there will be no more election campaign meetings in Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, Kampala City and Tororo, ”said commission spokesman Paul Bukenya in a statement on Saturday.
Uganda has reported 33,360 COVID-19 infections and 245 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.
The pop singer and politician Bobi Wine (38), real name Robert Kyagulanyi, is the strongest challenger to President Yoweri Museveni (76), who has been in power since 1986.
Bobi Wine is popular with young people in the country. Many of his followers say they are drawn to the criticism of Museveni’s government woven into his lyrics. Others say that as a young leader, he is better positioned to address the challenges they face.
Last month, three people died in protests that broke out after police arrested Bobi Wine while he was fighting for violation of anti-coronavirus measures in the east of the country.
Bobi Wine said the commission’s action was “cowardly” in a tweet following the announcement, adding: “The dictatorship is in a panic. They were surprised by the massive enthusiasm and support we received from all over the country. They just can’t imagine what would happen if they allowed our people to meet in these areas. “
He had planned rallies in Kampala next week.
The ruling National Resistance Movement has no problem suspending the election campaign as it believes the commission made the decision to save the lives of Ugandans, party spokesman Rogers Mulindwa told Reuters.
The election commission had previously limited campaign events to no more than 200 people to prevent the virus from spreading.