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NATIONWIDE COVERAGE: Elections for the SIGs to take place in all the 146 districts of Uganda

KAMPALA – Nominations for the special interest group elections (PWDS, Elders and Youth) for the district ended on October 6, 2020.

The Special Interest groups (Elderly, PWDs and the Youth ) are to constitute electoral colleges at district level in all the 146 districts of Uganda.

The elders elections at district level will take place on 12th October, 2020, the PWD district representatives will be elected on 14th October 2020, while the youth will be elected on 16th October 2020.

Elders elections: Five elders from the sub-counties and five elders from the municipalities (10 Elders)  will elect five representatives to the districts. 

The five representatives from each district will be convened at regional level to elect 10 representatives from each of the four regions: north, east, west and central who will then go to the national level to elect the MPs.

The districts without municipalities will still have to elect among themselves representatives to send to the regional and then national level.

The 10 who will be elected from each region will be the ones to elect the MPS when the MP elections happen in 2021. A date for the national elections will be announced when a date for the 2021 general elections had been fixed by the electoral commission. 

The date for the presidential and MP election will lie between January 10th and February 8th 2021.

The Commission will also advise when nominations for MPs of the special Interest groups will take place, otherwise nomination for the constituency and women MPs are slated to take place on 12th and 13th October, 2020.

PWD Elections: The nine constituted members of the electoral college from each sub-county will elect three representatives a chairperson, finance and secretary female to represent at district level.

Those elected from all the districts (3×146)  are the one that will constitute the electoral college on 14th October 2020. These will elect three representatives to send to the regions namely northern, Eastern, Western and Central and it is the regional delegates who will constitute the national delegates conference at a date to be announced by the Electoral Commission. 

Youth Elections: The nine constituted members of the electoral college from each sub-county (about 134 members per district will elect three representatives a chairperson, finance and secretary female to represent at district level.

The election slated for 16th October is to enable the district colleges elect three representatives for each of the four regions that will be sent to the national youth delegates conference at a date yet to be announced by the Electoral commission. 

However, for the youth there are two representatives from UNSA (male and female and 2 PWD representatives also male and female) from each of the districts and regions that participate in the national delegates conference.

The workers’ Elections: Due to the amendment in the law governing workers MPs, the law introduced a shared mandate between the Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Gender. The Ministry of Gender constitutes the non-unionised conferences for workers within their sub-counties. When they are convened the EC conducts the elections. 10 non-unionised workers at each sub-county were elected on October 7, 2020 to represent at district level.

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On the day of the district worker’s elections another 10 representatives from each district will be elected to represent in the four regions of Uganda. From the regions another 10 representatives from each region will be elected to go to the national level. However, it is important to note that two Councillors for workers at each sub-county (male and female were elected on October 7, 2020) and at district level  another two councillors (male and female) will be elected. 

The law was amended to allow for the workers who were not necessarily members of a union like the National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) or the Central Organization of Free Trade Unions (COFTU) to compete equally.

Therefore, the amendment allowed for equal competition for the unionised and non-unionised workers. The 2021 general elections will be the first to test the amended law concerning worker’s elections.

The workers elections were meant to have commenced on 9th July, 2020, but due to budget constraints they were postponed to October 7, 2020, but starting at sub-county level not village as was with other college elections.

Uganda has 2,184 sub-counties, 146 districts and four regions namely Eastern, Western, Northern and Central.

An electoral college is a set of people who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office. Often these represent different organisations, political parties, or entities. Each is represented by a particular number of electors or votes weighted by the Electoral Commission.

Conclusion:

Whereas it is commendable that the Electoral Commission has resorted to putting out press statements about all key processes, this information is largely accessed by people who have smart phones who constitute only 5 million of the 17.7 million voters. This information will also only be utilised by 4% of the Uganda Population who access the internet on a daily basis, according to a recently released Afrobarometer report . More needs to be done to get 

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