DP calls for postponement of 2021 elections over COVID-19.
DP calls for postponement of 2021 elections over COVID-19.

The Democratic Party (DP) calls for postponement of 2021 elections over COVID-19.

The Democratic Party (DP) has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to postpone the coming 2021 general elections because of the ongoing coronavirus.

According to the DP President, Nobert Mao, the existence of the coronavirus that has seen activities and many people’s businesses distorted is enough to justify why the country needs to suspend holding elections for now until such a time when things get back to normal.

Mr Mao says that elections do not necessarily refer to the act of casting ballots but rather they must also provide room for active engagements between the voters and those seeking to be elected to public offices.

“DP believes that elections cannot just be reduced to the act of casting ballots. Elections must provide for active engagements between the voters and those seeking to be elected to public offices.” Mao said adding that if these rights are denied then holding elections now is meaningless.

Mao also, advised government for the meantime to consider a state of emergency and elect an interim team to lead the country until such a time when they can choose new leaders.

DP president Mao also questioned why the government is reluctant to postpone the 2021 elections yet the country is still struggling to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He raised worries that they might be using the threat of the virus as an escape route for NRM to rig the coming elections by undermining the people’s full rights to voting.

DP calls for postponement of 2021 elections over COVID-19.
DP calls for postponement of 2021 elections over COVID-19.

Earlier, the EC ordered that there will be no postponement of forthcoming elections despite the ongoing COVID-19 but rather all campaigns and rallies will be held scientifically.

Meaning, aspirants at all levels will only be able to conduct campaigns electronically via television, radio and social media and only the voting exercise will be done normally because it can be managed accordingly with directives in place such as hand-washing, social-distancing or leaving gaps of the necessary metres between voters in line.

The EC explained that electoral activities attract large public gatherings which might pose high COVID-19 risk of person-to-person and object-to-person transmissions if not properly managed.

This proposed campaign plan according to Mr Mao discredits the Constitutional right of Ugandans to access free, fair and credible elections. Mao says that the plan to switch elections to digital platforms is inadequate, too costly and inaccessible, yet still, it does not have a legal basis.

Meanwhile, NRM party officials led by secretary-general Kasule Lumumba yesterday opposed demands from different political parties to declare a state of emergency because of the coronavirus because it would result in the postponement of the 2021 general polls.