No Party Colors Allowed: Electoral Commission’s Move for Fair Hoima LCV By-Election

Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama. PHOTO/BUSIINGE AGGREY

HOIMA, UGANDA – In a bid to ensure a transparent and fair electoral process, the Uganda Electoral Commission, led by the esteemed Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the Chairperson, arrived at the Kitoba subcounty headquarters to conduct a crucial stakeholders meeting ahead of the Hoima LCV by-election.

With the Hoima district gearing up for this significant event, the Commission’s focus on transparency has been evident. To begin the preparations, the Voters Register will be displayed at all polling stations within Hoima District from Wednesday, August 9, to Friday, August 18, 2023. This measure aims to allow citizens to verify their registration details and ensure an accurate electoral roll.

The electoral process will not be limited to voter registration verification alone. Recognizing the importance of an updated National Voters Register, the Commission has decided to commence the exercise of updating it starting this Monday, July 24, and lasting for five days. This step will help include more eligible voters and ensure that the democratic process represents the true voice of the people.

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The decision to embark on these measures came after representatives of Hoima district opposition parties raised concerns over harassment and perceived unfairness experienced during previous campaigns and polling days. The Commission heeded these concerns and has pledged to address such issues to foster a more inclusive and respectful electoral environment.

In the pursuit of a more accountable political landscape, Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama has cautioned against the commercialization of elections. He expressed concerns that this practice has led to poor service delivery and the exclusion of competent leaders who may lack the financial resources to compete. By discouraging the influence of money in politics, the Commission aims to level the playing field and create opportunities for leaders with merit and vision to rise.

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Additionally, the Commission has taken a decisive step to promote impartiality on election day. To prevent any partisan displays influencing voters’ decisions, wearing party colors or clothing with candidates’ photos will be prohibited during the election on September 14. This measure aims to protect the integrity of the democratic process and encourage voters to make their choices based on substance and policies rather than superficial appearances.

Furthermore, in a show of commitment to fairness and equal treatment, the Uganda Electoral Commission has assured opposition political parties that they will be treated equitably during the Hoima district LCV by-election. This pledge is essential to foster trust and confidence in the electoral system, encouraging a healthier political environment where every voice is heard and respected.

Moreover, the Commission has imposed several restrictions to ensure the electoral process’s smooth operation and public safety. Processions along major highways, night campaigns, and convoys on nomination days will be banned during the Hoima district LCV by-elections, scheduled for September 14. Exceptions will be made for prospective candidates, who will be allowed only two cars each, to maintain order while preserving their right to campaign.

As the stakeholders’ consultative meeting at Kitoba subcounty headquarters continues, all eyes are on the Uganda Electoral Commission, hoping that their dedication to fairness and integrity will serve as a shining example for future elections in the nation. The success of the Hoima district LCV by-election will not only determine local leadership but also demonstrate the maturity and strength of Uganda’s democracy.

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