Uganda warns election observers not to meddle


Ofwono Opondo

The government of Uganda says it will ensure and observe a tranquil atmosphere that has generally characterized the campaign period over the last three months so far, continues up to the Election Day February 18, 2016.

“Government would like to reiterate its commitment to a transparent democratic path and re-assure Ugandans that the elections will be held under a peaceful and tranquil environment, and that the elections will be free and fair, the outcome of which will truly reflect the will of the Ugandans,” government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo told press in Kampala on Monday.

He said all necessary, adequate and robust arrangements have been put in place to ensure that elections go normally and that after elections Uganda continues to enjoy the prevailing peace and phenomenal development that “we are witnessing”.

He said so far government has invited International Election Observer Missions from the European Union (EU), The Common Wealth, The African Union (AU), The International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), The Inter-Governmental Authority on Draught (IGAD), The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and The East African Community (EAC). “All are either already here or have confirmed their participation in these elections.”

In addition, Opondo continued, there are local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs, and Civil Society Organisations (SCOs), and 976 local and international media personnel that have been accredited as observers, monitors and reporters to these elections, and “we believe the number will even grow bigger as the polling day approaches”.

He said all these groups are free to conduct the necessary due diligence in accordance with the laws of Uganda, and established and well known international norms and practices.

“Government does not therefore expect particularly members of the diplomatic missions here to unduly meddle in our internal politics and elections as some of them are already doing.”

He added: “Government takes strong exception to meddling and would like to caution those doing so to desist forthwith, and in case there are matters of concern they should be addressed through the appropriate diplomatic channels.”

Opondo said Uganda seeks mutual respect to its sovereignty in accordance with international laws, norms and practices.

Meeting the election observers at his country home in Rwakitura, President Yoweri Museveni said his government would ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.

He also promised them a safe environment to do their work.


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