Campaigns for Presidential and Parliamentary Races Kick Off

Published by Patra K on

Campaigns for Presidential and Parliamentary Races Kick Off

This week the campaigns for the races for Presidential and Parliamentary seats have kicked off in earnest. The campaigns run from November 9, 2020 to January 12, 2021 ahead of election day January 14, 2021. A total of 11 candidates were nominated for the Presidential race of which only one is female. The total number of candidates nominated form Member of Parliament
races for 2021 elections has not yet been released by the Electoral commission, but on average every constituency has 5 people being nominated. Uganda’s Parliament is expected to grow to 530 MPs.

This big number of candidates is a result of politics being lucrative in Uganda with people holding political office earning more than their counterparts in other sectors. It is also one of the reasons why the cost of politics has been rising steadily over the past three electoral cycles. Whereas the Electoral Commission has allowed campaign meetings of not more than 70 participants that are socially distanced as a COVID-19 pandemic preventive measure, the most likely campaign methods will include door-to-door canvassing, use of radio and television, and outdoor advertising. These are going to be costly for all candidates.

Already, some nominated candidates for the Presidential race are complaining about their inability to fuel the vehicles and maintain the security personnel attached to them by the electoral management body. Upon nomination, each presidential candidate was given a brand-new off-road vehicle plus cash UGX 20 million ($5,4005) and a team of security personnel comprising of six police officers. However, even the cost of feeding the personnel is
already becoming a problem to some independent candidates hardly a week after they received them.

The early cries from some candidates with regard to campaign spending begs the question, of how much homework these individuals made about the cost of politics in Uganda. Participating in the race for President of Uganda is a costly venture which calls for rigorous fundraising before a person gets into a political race.
One ought to remember the candid words of the great political philosopher, Cyndi Lauper who is quoted to have said that when it comes to politics, “money changes everything”.

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