Women Organisations Caution the Electoral Commission on Using Media as the Only Campaign Platform for 2021 Elections

On Tuesday 23 June 2020, the Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) and the Women's Democracy Group (WDG) - which is comprised of Women Development Network (WDN)-Uganda Chapter, Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO),  Action for Development (ACFODE) - held a press conference in Kampala to respond to a statement  by the Uganda Electoral Commission (EC) that all political campaigns for the 2021 general elections shall be conducted through social and mainstream media.

While launching the elections roadmap on 16 June 2020, the EC Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, indicated that all aspiring candidates for elective positions will use media to reach their voters, as a safety measure against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that mass rallies shall not be allowed during the forthcoming campaigns because they lead to huge congregations and physical contacts known for spreading the disease.

At the press conference, UWONET and WDG  noted that whereas they appreciate the creativity of EC in organising a scientific election given the unprecedented times of COVID-19, they are concerned that ‘digitalising elections’ might combine with pre-existing inequalities to unduly disfranchise women, youth and rural populations from participating in the forthcoming election, both as voters and candidates.

They, therefore, propose various recommendations for the EC to consider before officially adopting media as the primary modality for electioneering in the forthcoming elections.

Read the full press statement here: