The electoral commission is suspending the campaign for the presidential elections, citing risks of coronavirus, as the opposition cries out scandal.
Uganda has suspended all campaigning for the January presidential elections in the capital and 10 densely populated districts, citing risks of coronavirus, but critics said the real reason was the popularity of the opposition in these areas.
The East African country is due to hold the presidential election on January 14.
“The Independent Election Commission has suspended campaign meetings in districts and towns classified by the Ministry of Health as having a high spread of the coronavirus. From December 26, 2020, no campaign meeting will be held in Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, Kampala and Tororo, ”commission spokesperson Paul Bukenya said on Saturday. in a press release.
Uganda has reported 33,360 COVID-19 infections and 245 deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic.
Pop singer-turned-politician Bobi Wine, 38, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, has become the main challenger to President Yoweri Museveni, 76, in power since 1986.
Bobi wine is popular among the young people of the country. Many of his supporters say they are drawn to him by the criticism of the Museveni government embedded in his words. Others say that as a young leader, he is better placed to deal with the challenges they face.
Last month, three people died in protests that erupted after police arrested Bobi Wine while campaigning in the east of the country for violating anti-coronavirus measures.
Bobi Wine said the commission’s action was “cowardly” in a tweet after the announcement, adding: “The dictatorship is in panic. They were surprised by the overwhelming enthusiasm and support we received in all parts of the country. They just can’t imagine what would happen if they allowed our people to meet in these areas. “
He had rallies planned in Kampala next week.
The ruling national resistance movement has no problem with the suspension of the campaign because they believe the commission made the decision to save the lives of Ugandans, party spokesman Rogers Mulindwa told the news agency. Reuters press.
The electoral commission previously limited election rallies to no more than 200 people to prevent the spread of the virus.