Polling day for this by-election has been decided, vetted by Attorney General and will soon be officially published in the gazette by the Governor General, initiating the start of the by-election process.
Acting Chief Electoral Officer Alphonsus Pero said that funds are now available and all by-election preparations are well ahead to start rolling out the by-election program.
“One election manager, one returning officer and three assistant returning officers have been appointed and trained to superintend the by-election,” Pero said.
The commission had agreed for this by-election to use the existing voter list.
The by-election was necessary after former MP Mark Kemakeza was jailed last year for stealing constituency funds.
MR Pero said voter list remain same as was last updated prior to 2010 national general election, which means no new names have been added, or deceased names removed from the list.
This is because preparatory stages for a totally new nation-wide voter registration is also looming as soon as the by-election is completed.
Mr Pero explained that those who had turned 18 years older after 2010 voter list update and those whose names were missing during the last 2010 national election and had not vote will not still be able to vote in the coming by-election. .
He further explained that legal timelines and all other election procedures will also same as in any previous parliamentary national general election and by-elections.
“On-trial election equipment will also be used in the coming Gela by-election and voters should expect to see these changes with the use of this new equipment in the process.
“In all, polling day process will be the same and voting hours remain from 7am- 5pm as in National Elections except for expected changes in the type of ballot box used and the introduction of the use of the new indelible ink that afore mentioned.
“We will publically publish details into these new changes as the election schedule is underway.
“Polls close at five o’clock in the evening as in past national elections and voters must make sure to cast their votes as no one will be allowed to vote after 5pm,” Pero said.
The election date is set to be announced soon and Electoral Commission calls upon all intending candidates wishing to contest this by-election, voters and officials to take note and be reminded that this by-election is of no exception and that the electoral law remains as the guide for every action taken and everyone is prepared for it.
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