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EC bans use of mobile phones at polling stations

By Mary Karugaba

Added 12th February 2016 04:47 PM

Ugandans go to polls on February18 next week to elect their presidential and parliamentary representatives.

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Electoral Commission chairman Eng. Badru Kiggundu addresses journalists on next week’s general election at the electoral commission headquarter on February 12,2016. Photos/Mary Kansiime


The Electoral Commission had banned the use of mobile phones at polling stations.

Briefing the media on Friday, the EC chairman Dr. Badru Kiggundu said voters should switch off their phones immediately they reach the polling area.

The ban also applies to the election observers and the candidates’ representatives at the polling area

Ugandans go to polls on February18 next week to elect their presidential and parliamentary representatives.

“Come with your phone but when you reach the polling area switch off, vote and then leave.  Do not start negotiating or making calls within the polling area because when we get you, you will answer,” he said.

 lectoral ommission chairman ng adru iggundu addresses journalists on next weeks general election at the electoral commission headquarter on ebruary 122016 hotosary ansiime Electoral Commission chairman Eng. Badru Kiggundu addresses journalists on next week’s general election at the electoral commission headquarter on February 12,2016. Photos/Mary Kansiime

 

“We don’t want you to start calling your brother while on the line going to vote.  What type of brother is that at that time?” he asked prompting a barrage of questions from Journalists who said their work depends a lot on the use of mobile phones.

Some opposition candidates were recently heard on radio encouraging their supporters to take pictures of people they suspect are not voters at their polling stations and also call the candidates.

At a joint press conference addressed by Police Chief Gen Kale Kayihura and the Commission officials, Kiggundu noted with concern the behaviors of some candidates as Election Day draws closer whom he said were not adhering to the legal requirement of closing their campaigns at 6pm.

Most of the candidates are campaigning in the central districts of Kampala as they wind down their campaigns.

They are seven presidential candidates battling it out with the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni who is contesting for the fifth time.

The candidates are Kizza Besigye (FDC), Abed Bwanika (PPP), Amama Mbabazi (Go Forward) Maureen Kyala (Independent), Prof. Venansius  Baryamureba  and Benon Biraro (Farmers).

“The commission therefore would like to pass a final warning to any candidate who violates this requirement to stand warned. I was shocked that some candidates even campaign up to 9pm,” he said without elaborating on the sanctions.

Sample of ballot paper

At the briefing, Kiggundu also unveiled a sample of the ballot paper indicating the lineup of the candidates for presidential elections as they will appear on the ballot paper.

The names are not arranged in alphabetical order. In some cases, they start with the candidate’s first name and then change to their sir names.

According to the sample, Abed Bwanika tops the list, followed by Amama Mbabazi, Baryamureba Venansius, Benon Biraro, Kizza Besigye, Mabirizi Joseph, Maureen Faith Kyala and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Museveni at the bottom.

Kaihura commended the candidates and their supporters for the peaceful campaign so far and urged voters to go and vote for their candidates come Feb, 18.

 He however warned candidates against campaigning beyond the stipulated hours especially when campaigning in the City.

“On Thursday, we found a candidate in Wankuluku campaigning at 9pm. I asked my officers not to touch him but report the matter to EC. I hope they have sanctions,” he said.


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