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Kiggundu bans guns at rallies

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd November 2005 03:00 AM

THE Electoral commission (EC) has banned the carrying of firearms during campaign rallies, demonstrations and other political events leading to the 2006 general elections.

By Charles Etukuri

THE Electoral commission (EC) has banned the carrying of firearms during campaign rallies, demonstrations and other political events leading to the 2006 general elections.

This is contained in the draft regulations endorsed yesterday by about 16 political parties at a-half-day seminar at Fairway Hotel in Kampala. The seminar was organised by the EC. Presidential campaigns kick off on December 15.

The document, Code of Conduct for Political Parties/Organisations and Independent candidates, which is yet to be approved by the justice ministry and Parliament, also forbids parties and independent candidates from use of abusive language and publishing false or defamatory statements about opponents.

Debating the several sections in the seven-page document, representatives of political parties together with the EC resolved that EC liaises with the parties and security agents to ensure that there is no misuse of firearms during the election process.

Inducing or rewarding people to join or attend rallies or vote, deface or unlawfully remove or destroy billboards, placards or posters is also prohibited and attracts a fine.

The EC is granted power to resolve complaints that arise during the election period.

The document also provides for a right of appeal to the High Court incase one is aggrieved by EC’s decision.

It aims at ensuring that the 2006 elections are held under conditions that are conducive for free and fair elections in a multi-party setting, including tolerance of democratic political activity, free political campaigning, open political debate, co-existence of stakeholders in the election process and the promotion of a professional conduct of political parties.

EC chairman Badru Kiggundu said the document would also regulate the relationship between the parties and media.

Kiggundu bans guns at rallies

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