Muslim Council Elections set for March 23

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In short
Over 9,000 Mosques have registered with the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Election Commission – EC to take part in the elections slated to start on March 23 the first step in the formation of general assembly.

Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC has set March 23 as the date for holding grass root elections for Muslim leaders across the country. Ahmed Kayongo, the UMSC Electoral Commission chairperson says so far 9,000 mosques have registered to participate in the polls but more forms are expected.
 Kayongo explains that the vacancies to be filled up include positions on the mosque, county and district committee that fell vacant when the entire leadership of UMSC was dissolved by the general assembly last year. The UMSC constitution provides for general elections every five years.

 According to the election road map issued by Kayongo, elections for mosque committee executives will take place on Friday March 22 after Juma prayers. The position to fill up include that of the chairperson, secretary, treasurer and five committee members will take place after the Juma prayers on March 23.

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He explains that the members will also elect a councilor to represent their area at the district, who will constitute a county council. Each county council will also elect five councilors who will join the county sheikhs to form a Muslim district council.
According to Kayongo, the UMSC interim electoral commission has conducted civic education to sensitize the voters on the coming election.  Kayongo also clarified that there will be no election for the position of secretary general because his  seven year term has not expired while  the Mufti’s only quits after 75years.

When asked about groups that were opposed to the election, Kayongo said participating in the election was the best way for them to cause change at UMSC if they so wished.  The UMSC Electoral Commission has recruited 54 returning officers, 322 presiding officers and 9,000 Juma mosque returning officers. Kayongo emphasized that any Muslim was free to vote as long they are 18years.

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When asked why UMSC had not held the elections in 2005, Kayongo said then council had devoted time to the completion of the Mosque at Old Kampala.


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