Uganda halts election campaigns in some areas, opposition screams badly
KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda on Saturday suspended all campaigns for the January presidential election in the capital and 10 populous districts, citing coronavirus risk. However, critics said the real reason was the opposition’s popularity in these areas.
The East African country is expected to hold presidential elections on January 14th.
“The independent electoral commission has suspended campaign meetings in districts and cities that the Ministry of Health has classified as having a high level of coronavirus. As of December 26, 2020, there will be no more campaign meetings in Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, Kampala City and Tororo, ”said Commission spokesman Paul Bukenya in a statement.
Uganda has reported 33,360 COVID-19 infections and 245 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.
The candidate and pop star Bobi Wine (38), whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is the strongest challenger to President Yoweri Museveni (76). The president has been in power since 1986.
Wine is popular with young people in the country. Many of his followers say they are drawn to the criticism of Museveni’s government woven into his lyrics. Others say that as a young leader he is better positioned to overcome the challenges they face.
Last month, three people died in protests that broke out after police arrested Wine while he was fighting for violations of anti-coronavirus measures in the east of the country. [L1N2I40YG]
Wine said the commission’s action was “cowardly” in a tweet following the announcement, adding, “The dictatorship is in a panic. They were surprised by the massive enthusiasm and support we received from all over the country. They just can’t. ” Imagine what would happen if they allowed our people to meet in these areas. “
He had planned rallies in Kampala for the coming week.
The ruling National Resistance Movement has no problem suspending the election campaign as it believes the commission made the decision to save the lives of Ugandans, party spokesman Rogers (NYSE 🙂 Mulindwa told Reuters.
The electoral commission had previously limited election rallies to no more than 200 people to prevent the virus from spreading.
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