At least 24 presidential aspirants have declared intention to run for president in 2021 polls and have notified the Electoral Commission (EC) of their plans to start consultations.
Few of the aspirants are publicly known with the most recognizable faces being Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi, aka, Bobi Wine (MP for Kyadondo East), and Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde (former security minister).
But more and bigger names are expected in the race as political parties have not yet convened their national delegates conferences to elect their presidential flag bearers.
While Bobi Wine has already hit the consultation trail, other candidates are yet to embrace the process.
The latest to enter the race is Lt Gen Tumukunde, who until 2018, was a Security minister in President Museveni’s government.
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.
Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, the EC chairperson, has confirmed that presidential aspirants are allowed to consult on their candidature but added that they should do it within the parameters of the existing laws that distinguish consultations from campaigns.
“We wish to point out that consultations ought to be distinguished from campaigns which take the form of distributing materials, holding rallies and meetings besides canvassing or soliciting for votes envisaged under Section 21 and 24 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005,” Justice Byabakama told Daily Monitor recently.