Heads of all political parties operating in the country, yesterday met with the Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, to discuss how Presidential aspirants will carry out their campaigns at the local level.
This was in preparation for the forthcoming Presidential polls slated for August 9.
During the meeting, Musoni told the politicians that every candidate will be granted equal opportunities during the campaigns.
“All candidates will be accorded equal opportunities to campaign at the local levels and we expect them to keep their campaign manifestos within the confines of the existing laws,” said Musoni.
Party heads questioned the Minister as to why the publication of the electoral code has delayed, but he told them that the delay was caused by the constitutional amendment.
“The amendment of the constitution tackled some articles related to elections, which is why the electoral code had to be delayed…but everything has been finalized and it will soon be published,” he said.
The president of the Senate, who also doubles as the chairman of the Democratic and Socialist Party (PSD), Dr Vincent Biruta, requested that the ministry conducts public sensitization campaigns on laws governing political parties during elections so that the public can know how to keep away from destructive politics.
He also proposed that party heads meet frequently during the electoral period, a proposal that was highly welcomed by his colleagues.
During the meeting, some of the issues that came up include the registration of Green Party and FDU-Inkingi political parties.
“For FDU-Inkingi, registration will only come after the court has cleared it. The party and its leader have been accused of having links with terrorist groups, and the law cannot allow the registration of such a party until cleared by the courts,” Musoni said.
Regarding the Green Party, Musoni said that the organisation has continuously violated laws by illegally meeting without official authorization.
He also hinted on reasons for the recent defection of the party’s top officials, saying that the utterances by their leader, Frank Habineza, during the African Greens Conference held in Uganda, raised serious concerns within the party.
The Liberal Party (PL) recently announced their intention to field a candidate in the polls. In the 2003 election, they were part of the coalition that backed President Paul Kagame.