Special Police Constables to Miss Voting

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In short
Sam Rwakoojo, the Electoral Commission Secretary, says the Commission hasnt be able to make special arrangements to allow the SPCs to cast their votes because their deployment requires that they remain at the polling station from the time it opens to closure.

Special Police Constables-SPCs who will be deployed at polling stations across the country on February 18th 2016 will not get a chance to cast their votes.
 
 
Sam Rwakoojo, the Electoral Commission Secretary, says the Commission hasn't be able to make special arrangements to allow the SPCs to cast their votes because their deployment requires that they remain at the polling station from the time it opens to closure.

 
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This is not the first time SPCs deployed at the polling stations will miss out on the actual voting process. The same happened during the 2011 general elections and in the previous years too. He says arrangements can only be made if the Presidential Elections Act (PEA) is amended to allow special voting procedures for security personnel and other affected people. 
 

36,000 Special Police Constables have been recruited to beef up security during the Feb 18th general elections. The SPCs will be deployed alongside police across the country. 



Polly Namaye, the Deputy spokesperson, Uganda Police Force (UPF) told URN on phone that zonal police commanders have been advised to deploy the special police constables at polling stations close or where they registered to vote. 
 
 
She stresses that there is no reason for the SPCs not to exercise their right to vote despite the impediment caused by lack of a law for voting for officers on duty on such special exercises. 
 

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However, the Commission has organised for officers within the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) to vote at polling stations near their barracks together with civilians.
 

 
The Presidential Elections Act (PEA) does not provide for voting within army barracks. The PEA requires the Commission to publish a list of the restricted areas and institutions, where people are unable cast their votes. 



Such institutions include the army, the homes for the aged, patients in hospitals and other security personnel among others.


 

About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

With a background training in Conflict Sensitive Journalism she hopes to graduate into doing remarkable and recognised human rights and human interest stories in the near future.

She is interested in reporting on issues of justice, law, human rights and health.