The Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Electoral Commission Dr. Tanga Odoi has issued a number of guidelines that are to be followed by electoral officials while conducting Party primaries slated for Friday, September 4th, 2020, so as to avoid the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) among voters.
Here below is an extract of a press statement issued by Dr. Odoi to guide the NRM Primaries elections;
In execution of its electoral Roadmap, the NRM Electoral Commission is set to conduct Primaries to elect the NRM Party’s Parliamentary Flagbearers for position of District Woman Representative to Parliament and Constituency Member of Parliament.
These Primaries will be held on 4th September 2020 in a total of 151 NRM Districts, 353 Constituencies and 69,075 Villages which are also the NRM Polling Stations.
Early Electoral Violence
The Commission’s Department of Research has made a scan of the entire country and made a detection of early electoral violence in several areas including but not limited to;
iv) Kashongi Constituency in Kiruhura
The Commission warns that any candidate who is got engaging in electoral violence will be disqualified.
The Commission is currently in the process of displaying the Party Voters Register. The Commission would like to inform all NRM candidates and entire NRM electorate that the Register shall be used as is, As such;
a) There shall be no addition and deletion of names during the Display of the NRM Voters Register.
b) All NRM Members whose names get added during Display of the Register will not be allowed to vote in NRM Primaries.
c) All NRM Members whose names get deleted during Display of the Register will be allowed to vote in NRM Primaries.
In-charge of Elections: NRM Electoral Commission Officials
The Commission would like to categorically state that the personnel in charge of the forthcoming NRM parliamentary Primaries are specified as follows;
S/N LEVEL POSITION
1.National/Regional………………NRM EC Commissioners
2.Sub-regional…………………RM EC Sub-Region Coordinators
3.District…………………District Elections Officer/Registrar
4.Sub-county……………. S/county Election Officer/Registra
5.Parish/Ward……………. Parish Election Officer/Registrar
6. Village………………. Village Election Officer/Registrar
No other person other than stated above shall be involved in the management of the election.
Role of DEC, Administrative Secretaries
The NRM District Executive Committee under the leadership of the Movement District Chairperson shall play a political oversight role over the electoral process.
However, they must in no way get involved in the process. The overall in-charge of the elections at District level is the NRM District Elections Officer/Registrar.
The Commission has written to security informing them about the forthcoming electoral process and requested them to provide the Commission with security.
The Commission requests the District Security teams i.e. the RDC, DPC & DISC to provide security for the elections. However, they must exercise neutrality and not take sides in the process as is happening in some areas across the country.
The Commission has issued Guidelines for conducting the elections. For purposes of clarity, the polling procedure will be as follows;
The Mode of Election shall be by Lining Up using Universal Adult Suffrage i.e. all NRM Members who appear in the NRM Voters Register will be allowed to vote.
Note that position of District Woman Representative to Parliament shall be voted for first followed by Constituency MP.
COVID-19 Prevention Measures
As the Polling procedure described above is being executed, the Presiding Officer at each Polling Station MUST ENSURE observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as laid out by Ministry of Health in the fight against the Corona Virus as follows;
i) The Polling Station shall be set up in an open place (riot indoors) with good air circulation
ii)All persons who report to the Polling Station (Election Officials and electorate) should wash/sanitize their hands with Water and Soap that will be availed at each Polling Station.
iii) All persons should observe social distance i.e. two (2) metres from one another.
iv) All persons should wear facemasks at the Polling Station.
v) No handshaking/hugging is allowed.
vi) All persons should disperse back to their homes immediately after the polling process.
Tallying & Announcement of Results
After all, willing voters have lined up behind candidates of their choice;
a) The Presiding Officer shall count the number of voters in the line behind each candidate/Candidate’s Agent/Portrait assisted by Polling Assistants.
b) After counting, the Presiding Officer shall record the number of votes for each candidate on a Declaration of Results Form.
c) The Presiding Officer shall announce the number of votes each candidate has got at the Polling Station.
d) Agents of candidates shall sign Declaration of Results Forms after the Forms have been filled by the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall then give a copy of the Form to the agents of a candidate.
e) A DR Form shall then be transmitted to the respective Tally Centre for final tallying.
f) Final Tallying and announcement of results/declaration of winners shall be done at the District Tally Centre by the NRM District Elections Officer/Registrar.
No Tallying of results shall be done at Sub-county.
The Commission has dispatched election materials from Headquarters to the entire country.
An NRM EC Team will train all Election Officials on the process and materials shall arrive at each Polling Station on the morning of 4th September.
All candidates and entire NRM fraternity are accordingly informed.
The Commission assures the entire country that we are therefore fully prepared to conduct this election.