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Dates for 2021 Presidential Debate announced !

The Inter Religious Council Uganda-IRCU has announced the date for the 2021 presidential debate. The debate will be held on 12th December 2020 and the second in January 2021.

The debates will be organized by The Elders Forum Uganda (TEFU), Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy (CCEDU), Women Situation Room (WOSIR), Inter Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) and Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET). Sharon Akidi, IRCU Communications Manager says they have received funding of close to 1.5 Billion Shillings from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to organize the debates.

She says that considering that these are special elections, COVID- 19 guidelines will have to be adhered to, and depending on the number of Presidential candidates nominated, they are still discussing the venue for the debates. Akidi also says that IRCU and the Elders Forum are also engaging the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and media owners to determine how the presidential debates will be broadcast to the masses via media outlets.

Innocent Nahabwe Deputy Chairman NAB says that they are in discussions with the Electoral Commission (EC) to lobby for funds in order for broadcasters to air the 2021 presidential debates. The presidential debates aim at promoting tolerance, reduce partisan tensions and conflict, promote issue based discussions, amplify citizen’s voices and also hold the candidates accountable to their promises.

Presidential candidates were nominated on Monday, November 2, and Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020 at Kyambogo University Sports Grounds. Nancy Kalembe Linda, the only female independent Presidential candidate says the debates will allow her to present her agenda to the electorate ahead of the 2021 presidential elections.

With support from UNDP, IRCU and TEFU organized the first televised presidential debate on 15th January 2016 from the Serena Conference Centre. This second edition of the debate is much anticipated for because of the tight race between President Museveni and MP Robert Kyagulanyi.

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Ssentongo Patrick Kibira

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