Uganda: EU declines Observaton mission

The European Union will not deploy an observer mission for Uganda’s presidential election in January, an official said on Monday, November 16, after complaints that advice from previous observers to make the polls fair went unheeded.

In the January 14 vote, President Yoweri Museveni, 76, will face off against a dynamic pop star and lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi, widely known by his music moniker Bobi Wine and who is seen as the incumbent president’s closest competitor. In the same election, voters will also pick the members of the parliament.

“An EOM (election observer mission) will not be present in Uganda in 2021,” Attilio Pacifici, EU ambassador and head of delegation to Uganda, confirmed to Reuters News agency in an email.

The diplomat aid in taking a decision not to send observers, the EU had considered whether Uganda had “made progress on recommendations provided by previous EU electoral missions.”

The EU usually sends a large team to monitor the elections, last time 94 observers, and they have stayed in the country sometimes for up to three months.

According to an EU 2018 report, none of the 30 recommendations made by the observer mission sent to monitor the last election in 2016 was implemented.

The recommendations included reforms to make the poll body more independent, elimination of excessive use of force by the armed forces and more transparency in tallying.

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