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US Embassy, British High Commission seek accreditation to observe elections

EU and US want election observers on ground to ensure strict impartiality, non-interference and compliance with local laws that guide elections. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The United States Embassy and the British High Commission have submitted a list of observers to the Electoral Commission.

According to the list seen by Uganda Radio Network, the US Embassy has up to 70 people while the British High Commission has submitted a list of 46 proposed observers.

The East African Community has said it is also due to submit its list of observers to the EC.

The new US Ambassador Natalie E. Brown is part of the team that will observe the elections.

Last month, Attilio Pacifici, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Uganda said that the EU delegation hopes to put together a group of between 70 and 80 people divided into 20 teams who will traverse the country observing the election process.

According to the EU, although they have made recommendations to the government, they have never been implemented.

The EU, African Union and Commonwealth have been at the center of election observance in the country but the situation is made different because of COVID-19 restrictions. The US observer team will be drawn from the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Kampala.

The US Embassy spokesperson Tony Kujawa says that they are developing plans to have Embassy staff conduct the diplomatic observation of Uganda’s general elections on January 14, 2021.

“The United States government does not take sides or support any specific candidate or party in Uganda’s upcoming elections. The United States supports the democratic process itself. The purpose of a diplomatic observation of elections is to demonstrate the U.S. interest in a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive electoral process.”

He says that they will ensure strict impartiality, non-interference and compliance with local laws that guide diplomatic observation of elections.

Kujawa however says that details of the Embassy’s observer teams were still being finalized by press time.

Asked if the list of observers submitted by the Embassy to the Electoral Commission would cover the entire country, Kujuwa said that the list is still being finalized.

Attempts to ascertain the accreditation process and number of observers from the Electoral Commission were futile.

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