Elections where the choices of preferred candidates are expressed by lining up behind the respective candidates, their agents or photographs is and will be a big setback to the integrity of the election outcomes.
This mode of elections is a trigger of avoidable, dissatisfaction, finger-pointing and violence among others. Where contests are neck and neck, it’s almost impossible to control and preserve order or sanity among the voters.
Where there is no live coverage or record of events for future reference purpose, it is difficult to give a recount of the proceedings like the actual population in the lines, time management, identification procedures, among others.
The recently concluded NRM primary elections are a classic demonstration of the above. They were awash with loss of lives, violence, gun-toting, accusations and counter-accusations. A number of petitions against the election of some candidates were registered in many places. All this could be avoided if a more foolproof exercise was conducted with due attention to voter registration, the integrity of the voter register, organization of polls and necessary logistics.
On the backdrop, of the aforementioned limitations of voting by lining up and the resultant criminality and dissatisfaction of the parties involved, it is prudent that the forthcoming elections and any election for that matter should put due consideration to the integrity of the organization, process and transmission of results to avert avoidable consequences.
In any case, results of an election should be embraced by the population to their satisfaction and not be a ‘seed of discord’.
An election which does not reflect the will of the people and neglects suitability of the candidates of choice may impose on the population candidates with questionable capacity and capability. No wonder this may explain why the quality of elected leaders in some areas is sometimes wanting.
An election should offer the best of the best leaders in the circumstance by acting as a sieve for ensuring and assuring quality.
About Author: Dr. Acer Godfrey Okot is a Governance and Management Expert that has served Uganda in various capacities in the Public Service and Electoral Process, and most recently, a Planner at the National Planning Authority.
He is eying the Nakawa West MP Race ahead of the 2020/2021 General Elections