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Elections without EU observers

The value election observers add to an election

Election observers from the international scene add confidence in the election through the various reports they give about the electoral processes. Some political analysts say that EU election observers are crucial as they inspire and provide cover to domestic observers who often do not have access to higher offices.

Francis Mwijukye, the Buhweju County MP, and member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party, said the withdrawal of the EU as an electoral observer is a vote of no confidence in the EC and a signal that the country is headed for the most unfair election.

It appears the EU is hiding under the formal invitation note because earlier Pacifici told Reuters that the EU had decided not to send an election observer mission citing the assessment the EU had considered on whether Uganda had “made progress on recommendations provided by previous EU electoral missions.”

It appears the EU had gotten frustrated by the fact that government had not carried out reforms aimed at improving the electoral framework. The EU observer teams have made three separate sets of recommendations.

According to an EU 2018 report, none of the 30 recommendations made by the observer mission sent to monitor the last election in 2016 was implemented. The recommendations included reforms to make the poll body more independent, elimination of excessive use of force by the armed forces and more transparency in tallying.

Some of the recommendations the EU Election Observer Mission has made since 2001 elections

  • Establish an inclusive and transparent mechanism for appointment and removal of the EC.
  • Strengthen EC’s integrity by engaging civil society in selection process.
  • Grant EC sole regulatory power over regulation of essential aspects of the electoral process including voter registration, polling, tallying and the electoral dispute system prior to and during elections.
  • Introduce State subsidy for both presidential and parliamentary candidates to ensure level playing field. Equal State subsidies could be paid as reimbursement for candidates who obtain a certain threshold, i.e. a percentage of votes cast, in elections.
  • Create an environment in which voters and contestants participate in public affairs without being subjected to pressure and intimidation.
  • Establish mechanism for granting equal and equitable coverage of the candidates in the media.
  • Enact detailed procedures for complaints and appeals with reasonable time limits for adjudication indicating instances and levels at which complaints are to be submitted
  • Empower EC to effectively address noncompliance with campaign regulations. Monitoring mechanisms be established in regard to misuse of state resources.
  • The law should be amended to introduce an open, transparent and publicly accountable system for appointing the Electoral Commission.
  • Amend the Constitution to allow political parties to freely organise regardless of the political system.
  • Amend the Constitution and Parliamentary Elections Act to scrap parliamentary seats for the army, youth and workers.
  • Introduce special arrangements to ensure voting rights of disabled persons and prisoners.
  • Amend Constitution to ensure equal opportunities for Ugandans to contest for office without unreasonable restrictions such as level of education.
  • Reinstatement of two-term limits for future presidential elections.
  • EC to introduce more defined system for selecting polling officials. EC urged to consider training district registrars to work as returning officers.
  • Train polling staff to minimise irregularities by polling officials.
  • Redesign results form to become clearer and more user friendly.
  • Make provisions for Ugandans living outside the country to vote by post or in consulates.
  • Amend law to enable citizens who reach 18 years of age by Election Day to vote.
  • Introduce legal provisions to ensure transparency in making changes to the voters’ register.

One comment

  1. In uganda there has been never a free and fair election, we cannot talk of democracy where there is no freedom,museveni and his guns have captured the state as his home,they will fight forcefully who ever tries to challenge their office. We must have civil education.🤔

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