One of the youngest electorates in the world is about to make an important decision in Uganda’s 18 February 2016 General Elections, and the European Union was invited by the country’s authorities to establish an Election Observation Mission. The purpose of the mission is to assess the extent to which the election process complies with Uganda’s international and regional commitments, and national laws.
Mr. Eduard KUKAN, a Slovak member of the European Parliament, is the Chief Observer of the mission, which will comprise around one hundred and thirty observers from all EU member states, as well as Norway.
Just as in previous elections in 2006 and 2011, the East African nation has welcomed the EU Election Observation Mission, which has been gradually arriving in the country. First, a core team of 10 expert analysts arrived in the capital Kampala on 28 December, followed by thirty long term observers who were deployed across the country on 12 January, and soon eighty short term observers and a delegation of six Members of the European Parliament will join the mission closer to Election Day.
On his recent trip to the country, Chief Observer met with national authorities —President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and the Electoral Commission— as well as with political parties and civil society representatives, each time reiterating the mission's full support for Ugandans who are about to vote, and the importance of the transparency and inclusiveness of the electoral process.
The EU long term observers are based in 15 locations around the country, from where they are meeting all relevant stakeholders, including government and electoral officials, candidates and political parties' representatives, as well as members of civil society, media and voters across Uganda's 112 districts. They are also attending electoral official trainings, campaign rallies and other election-related events.
At mission headquarters in Kampala, a media monitoring unit is collecting data from 14 media outlets on the coverage of the election, in order to assess whether the access granted to candidates is fair and balanced.
Prior to Election Day, the short term observers will join the mission to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results based on a random sampling.
The mission's objective is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process based on long-term observation and a methodology developed by the EU over twenty years. Two days after the election, a Preliminary Statement will be presented by Mr. Kukan in a press conference. A comprehensive Final Report with recommendations shall be issued approximately two months after the end of the process.
- 29 jaanuar 2016
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