BY Joreen Nabutto
The distinction and reorganisation of new polling stations in the created parliamentary constituencies and local government electoral areas for the 2021 General Election starts today.
In a statement by the Electoral Commission released yesterday, the EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, said the distinction of 46 new constituencies and 180 town councils and sub-counties starts today and will end on September 4.
“The activities will involve conducting consultative meetings with stakeholders in each district to confirm administrative units that constitute the counties, city divisions and municipalities and defining boundaries of these units. This will form the primary data for the demarcation of the parliamentary constituencies,” the statement reads in part.
In July, Parliament approved the creation of more 46 constituencies pushing the number of directly elected MPs to 353 in the next Parliament. There are 461 MPs, including the ex-officials in the 10th Parliament, and the creation of new districts, cities and counties will add more MPs.
Currently, 11 new districts which came on board between 2018 and 2019 have no district Woman MPs because the EC had no money for elections. The seven new cities proposed to begin in July next year will also have a Woman MP and an additional constituency created. These changes will add a total of 29 seats in the next Parliament.
Justice Byabakama said: “The purpose of demarcation of these local government electoral areas is to absorb the above new creations into the 2021 General Election.”
He added: “The demarcation of Local Government electoral areas will also enable the Commission to clearly define and advise political parties and organisations and other stakeholders on the areas of representation for directly elected councillors and women councillors in the affected town councils and sub-counties.”
Mr Paul Bukenya, the EC spokesperson, said the EC will also conduct the re-organisation of polling stations in the affected parishes/wards in 180 newly-created counties/sub-counties which are located in various parts of the country.
“From today, we shall be in the field for this exercise and we want to finish it as soon as possible because it should not interfere with the current roadmap of the general elections which has already been disrupted by Covid-19. After the general demarcation and re-organisation exercises which were conducted in September 2019, we shall take on the issue of the register process and shifting of polling stations for those that want,” Mr Bukenya said