Tumukunde is cleared to consult voters on a presidential bid

Early this month, the former spymaster hit the ground running by declared his presidential bid to unseat President Museveni when he wrote to the election body requesting to have him allowed to consult voters.

However, in response, the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama has acknowledged receipt of Tumukunde’s letter but issued tough conditions to be fulfilled by the retired UPDF officer as he consults voters.

“We wish to point out that consultations ought to be distinguished from campaigns which take the form of distributing materials, campaigns, holding rallies, meetings, canvassing or soliciting for votes envisaged under section 21 and 24 of the Presidential Election Act 2005,” the March 4, 2020 response by Byabakama says.

In the letter, the Electoral Commission chairperson says the former spymaster is required by law to inform the local leaders and police of the venue for his consultations.

In his March 3 letter to the election body, Tumukunde said he would consult various groups of people including security agencies, law enforcement agencies, urban dwellers, women, youths, elderly, civil society and government institutions among other groups of people but warned against interference by anyone.

“I pray that the statutory mandate of the EC shall be respected by other organs of the state and that there will be harmony throughout this important constitutional exercise,” Tumukunde said in his letter.

However, if the developments happening to Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine are to go by, the former spymaster might find a bumpy road as he faces off with police during his consultations.

On several occasions, the Kyadondo East legislator has had his consultative meetings stopped for “not” meeting the set regulations by police.

The law

Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005 (1), (2) and (3) states: “An aspirant may consult in preparation for his or her nomination as a presidential candidate within 12 months before nomination date.”

It also stipulates, “While consulting, 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.”

“While consulting, the aspirant shall introduce himself or herself to the commission and notify the relevant local council and the police of the area to which he or she goes,” the law adds.

Source: NP

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