By Henry Sekanjako
The Electoral Commission (EC) has clarified that the increase of the period for presidential campaigns from three months to four months was decided by the electoral body last year and is contained in the 2016 general elections road map launched in May last year.
The acting EC chairman Joseph Biribonwa in a statement on Sunday dismissed claims that the electoral body had held secret meetings with the President and agreed to extend the campaigning period for presidential candidates from three to four months.
"While it is in order for the commission to meet with the President, there has never been such a meeting to discuss the campaign program with him," said Biribonwa.
According to Biribonwa, the story created an impression that the campaign program was agreed upon in a secret meeting held a few days ago between members of the commission and President Museveni.
He noted that the road map together with the strategic plan had been launched a year ago and copies given out to the public.
"All the stakeholders particularly the political parties and the media were among the invitees for the public launch where copies of the strategic plan and road map were given out," he explained.
Biribonwa further explained that in coming up with the period for presidential campaigns; the electoral commission was acting in accordance with Section 21 of the Presidential Elections Act (16 of 2005) which empowers the commission to determine the period and manner in which campaigns will take place.
In the approved road map for the 2016 general elections, the election body ora booked Friday September 18, 2015 as starting date and Saturday March 12, 2016 as the finishing date for campaigns (presidential, parliamentary and local governments).
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EC clarifies on 2016 presidential campaigns