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EC Will Not Faciltate Political Parties to Witness Printing of Ballots

A party would need not less than UGX100million to be able to send representatives to the five companies that will be printing the ballot materials.

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The Electoral Commission has said that it cannot facilitate political parties and other stakeholders to witness the printing of ballot papers.

Speaking to Uganda Radio Network at the Commission’s headquarters at Jinja Road in Kampala, on Tuesday, Paul Bukenya, the Spokesperson of the Electoral Commission said that any interested party must meet their costs for the people they want to send to witness the printing, packing and delivery of the ballot materials.

So far no party has asked for accreditation to go and witness the printing of ballot materials.

Last week, the Electoral Commission awarded contracts to five foreign companies to print ballot materials.  The five include; United Printing and Publishing I, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC [Dubai], Uniprint (SA) of Durban , Tall Security Print Ltd [ United Kingdom] and Adare Sec Ltd  

//Cue in: “we did not...

Cue out: “…budget for that

On Tuesday, the Democratic Party demanded that the Electoral Commission meets the cost of political party ballot printing observers.

The party spokesperson Okoler Opio Amanu said that in the spirit of openness, the Commission should sponsor party observers to go and witness the printing of ballots because even when many would want to go, they can’t meet the travel costs.

A party would need not less than 100 Million Shillings to be able to send representatives to the five companies that will be printing the ballot materials.

Meanwhile, Bukenya has also defended the decision of the Electoral Commission to again reward the ballot material printing contracts to foreign companies.

Last month, the Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority directed the Electoral Commission to re-evaluate their bidding exercise. This followed complaints from local companies about the process and the decision to exclude them from the multi-billion shilling printing deal.

The companies contended that they had the technical and physical capacity to print ballot materials contrary to what the Electoral Commission was saying that they don’t have the competency to print the almost 200million ballot papers.

 But Bukenya said that PPDA never told them to award the contracts to local companies but rather to re-evaluate the process. He added that their revaluation team arrived at the same conclusion that local companies are ill-fitted to print ballot materials. 

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On when the ballot materials are expected in the country, Bukenya said that in the last week of December they expect all the presidential and parliamentary ballot materials to be in the country and ready to be distributed in the first two weeks of January 2021.

Ugandans are expected to go to the ballot on January 14, to vote for the president and members of parliament.    

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