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Religious Leaders Concerned About Excluding Young Voters

Speaking at their offices in Mengo along Ssentema Road on Monday, IRCU through their Chairperson Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda, said although it was necessary to follow the dictates of the law stopping the registration of new voters in 2019 will leave out so many would be voters.
25 Feb 2020 21:50

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Religious leaders under their organization, the Inter religious Council of Uganda-IRCU have expressed concern over the decision by Electoral Commission to stop registering new voters, a full one year before the 2021 general elections. 

Speaking at their offices in Mengo along Ssentema Road on Monday, IRCU through their Chairperson Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda, said although it was necessary to follow the dictates of the law stopping the registration of new voters in 2019 will leave out so many would be voters. 

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IRCU was meeting with the Electoral Commission led by its chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugyenyi to enlist their support towards a peaceful election in 2021. The meeting that took close to five hours in which journalists were excluded, saw EC answer concerns that the religious leaders had about the elections. 

Other than failure to register everyone who would be 18 by Election Day, the religious leaders also questioned the EC’s ability to provide a level playing ground for all  players.  

The meeting, Mubajje said, “discussed the need to ensure a level playing ground for all candidates as a way of achieving a peaceful and fair electoral process. This also requires political parties, candidates and their agents as well as supporters to know the electoral guidelines.” 

For his part, Pastor Dr. Joseph Sserwadda, who was also part of the meeting asked Electoral Commission to include the presidential debate on their electoral calendar. Sserwadda said although during the 2016 election all the eight candidates attended at least one of the two debates, there is need to make it an Electoral Commission activity. 

On behalf of the Commission, Byabakama said, reaching out to the IRCU to cooperate in order to have peaceful elections, doesn’t in anyway suggest that they plan to fail on their mandate. 

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He added that as a commission they are aware of the good work and the outreach that the IRCU has hence the need for cooperation.  

“The religious leaders reach out to these people who are capable of causing chaos every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Therefor there is a need to talk to them so that we become partners. This Uganda is for all of us irrespective of our political and religious beliefs,” Byabakama said. 

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