The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, today, Monday, 4th October 2015, met with European Union Officials, Emanuele Giaufret, Head of Division for Election and Democracy in the European Union and Kristian Schmidt, Head of Delegation, EU Uganda, to discuss the observation of the National Elections slated for 2016.
Giaufret said his team was in the country on a mission to assess whether it was necessary for the European Union to observe the forthcoming elections, and to establish the steps being taken by the country to improve the elections in 2016, based on the previous National Elections of 2011.
“We are here for two weeks to interact with various stakeholders on their view of the presence of external observation of the elections,” Giaufret said.
He added that this would help them determine whether they should heed to the request by the Government of Uganda to observe the elections.
Giaufret added that since Parliament is a stakeholder; his team intended to find out the role it would play in improving the oncoming elections.
Kristian, on the other hand, warned the government against monetizing politics as has been done in the past.
In his response, the Rt. Hon. Oulanyah said it was routine for the country to make adjustments to the electoral process to improve on weaknesses identified in the previous elections.
“Every single election in Uganda has been preceded by reform. The Parliament has played its part by passing the Presidential and Parliamentary Electoral amendments and the Constitutional amendments, all of which seek to improve the election process,” the Deputy Speaker said.
Oulanyah further stressed the importance of the European Union to send a team to observe the elections because this would help the government identify and improve the loopholes and weaknesses in the electoral process.
The European Union has previously sent observation teams during the National Elections held in 2006 and 2011.