The Electoral Commission has launched the Strategic Plan 2022/2023-2026/2027 that it says will help it deliver a free and fair election come 2026.
Speaking at the launch in Kampala on Wednesday, 02 August 2023, EC Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi Simon, said the Strategic Plan and Roadmap are designed to enable phased funding of elections, which reduces funding pressure on government and facilitates EC to conduct the elections smoothly.
He said presidential, parliamentary and local government flag bearers will be picked between June and October, 2025. The Commission has asked for Shs1.3 trillion to conduct the next ballot, which is part of the Shs2.4 trillion the electoral body requires to implement its four-year (2023/24-2026/27) strategic plan.
The Plan provides clear communication of priority areas key milestones in the election cycle, he said.
He explained that the detailed objectives of the Strategic Plan are to enhance inclusive citizen participation in the electoral process, strengthen stakeholder collaboration and engagement in the electoral process, and deliver regular free and fair elections and referenda.
Others are to improve timely, gender and equity responsive and accurate information sharing, public trust, and confidence in the electoral process; and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Electoral Commission.
Justice Byabakama said some of the strengths identified during these evaluations include Government commitment to fund the electoral process, an enabling legal framework, an experienced and knowledgeable workforce and dood working relationship between the members of the Commission and Staff, among others.
He explained that the Roadmap will enable the various stakeholders in the electoral process to achieve Improvement in the planning for participation and implementation of electoral activities, Improvement in co-ordination of electoral activities, timely implementation of scheduled electoral activities; and, Transparency in the implementation of electoral programs and activities.
“The Commission appeals to the Government to consider and approve the creation of new administrative units in a timely manner, so that the electoral program and budget are not destabilized. When this is not done, the impact on our preparations, particularly on the demarcation of electoral areas, re-organization of polling stations, and voter education is enormous,” he said.
The Electoral Commission Secretary, Leonard Mulekwah said thy expect the nomination of candidates for President to take place between 2nd October and 3rd October 2025. This is in line with the Presidential Elections Act.
“Demarcation of the electoral areas should be done by July 2024. We should have general update of the National Voters’ Register by January 2025,” he said.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon.
Norbert Mao, said the issues raised such as the need to enact laws to enable the elections are very vital.
“The EC has been lamenting about civic education. I would want us to focus on civic education. The citizens are the nursery beds for leaders because leaders are picked from citizens. We need to make sure our citizens have civic education,” he said.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, who presided over launch, urged all stakeholders to carefully examine all the timelines as outlined in the Roadmap, and work with the Electoral Commission to smoothly implement the electoral roadmap for 2025/2026 general elections.
“I call upon all political players to organize themselves in accordance with this roadmap so that they effectively participate in this process,” she said.
“The Office of the Prime Minister will make sure that the required funds are released to the Commission to smoothly execute the activities as outlined in the Roadmap for the next general election,” she added.