Obasanjo slams arrests, voter bribery, election violence


Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in Uganda as an observer, has called on all political players in the country to exercise restraint in the run up to the February 18 polls.

Addressing journalists at Kampala Serena Hotel Tuesday, Obasanjo noted that the violent clashes that occurred in Kampala on Monday were “unfortunate” and should be avoided in order not to raise tension in the country.

The clashes occurred after police blocked Dr. Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party presidential candidate as he tried to head for rallies at Makerere University and Nasser Road in the city center.

Besigye was arrested twice, his supporters shot and man arrested.

Local election observers on the other hand have also expressed concern over the increased voter bribery in the last round of campaigns.

Releasing findings of a pre-election observation, the Citizens Election Observers Network (CEON) noted that by the closure of campaigns, there were increased cases of voter bribery.

Chairman of CEON steering committee Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana said voter bribery was reported in 53% of the constituencies observed especially with parliamentary candidates with Mid-Western Uganda having the highest cases.

The network also observed increased voter information activities by the electoral commission.

Meanwhile, opposition FDC has taken a legal step to secure injunction against Electoral Commission decision to ban phones.

FDC maintains the Electoral Commission regulations on phones are illegal, EC says phone users must be 20m away to use their phones.

The EC said it had allowed phones and cameras to be taken to polling stations but not pens.


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