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Faith leaders urge Ugandans to vote in local council elections

Faith leaders under their umbrella body the Inter-religious Council of Uganda(IRCU) have urged Ugandans to fully engage in Tuesday’s local council elections. 
IRCU, through its Chairperson Mufti Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje said during a meeting with Journalists in Kampala that citizens should refrain from violence, victimisation and bribery during the countrywide polls. 
The body also asked political parties to give citizens space to choose grass-root leaders of their choice without undue pressure from party leadership.
“No political party has a monopoly of capable leaders,” Mufti Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje said.
The body , which seeks to promote peace, reconciliation, good governance, and holistic human development through interfaith action and collaboration, urged the electorate to vote men and women “who are far sighted and are able to meet the needs, opportunities and challenges of their communities.”
During an interview with a local broadcaster on Monday, Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama said very many elections have been annulled by courts of law once proven beyond reasonable doubt that a candidate bribed voters – “we are asking voters to report any candidate who bribes them, people need to know what should and shouldn’t be done during campaigns and elections,” he said.
He said the LC1 elections will cost 16 billions altogether.
“The number of polling stations is very big because every village is a polling station and we currently have 6800 villages. The number of villages likely to miss out on this program are 3800 to 4000,” he revealed. “We have held a meeting and have agreed that all those villages that haven’t been included in this program well get their own program after this is done.”
“Elections come with all sorts of challenges but they aren’t new, we are talking 17 years of no LC1 elections. There are some things that have been taken for granted over the years and as a commission, we’re now entertaining petitions regarding these elections,” Justice Simon Byabakama added.

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