Uganda Rules Out Campaign Rallies Before Presidential Elections

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(Bloomberg) --

Uganda banned political-party rallies before presidential elections in February to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, political parties must used media-based campaigns to canvass support, , the Electoral Commission Chairman Simon Byabakama said Tuesday in a televised address from the capital, Kampala. The decision was made after consultations with the Health Ministry, he said.

The commission will announce who has been cleared to run as a presidential candidate after two days of vetting on Nov. 2 and 3, about four weeks after the selection of candidates vying for parliamentary seats, Byabakama said.

Ugandan pop star turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, who goes by the stage name Bobi Wine, and former Security Minister Henry Tumukunde, who was last month granted bail after two months in prison on treason charges, are among those who have announced plans to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in the election.

Museveni, 75, who has ruled Africa’s biggest coffee exporter since January 1986, is eligible to seek re-election after lawmakers in 2017 removed an upper age limit for a presidential candidate.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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