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EU Makes U-Turn on 2021 Election Observers :: Uganda Radionetwork
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EU Makes U-Turn on 2021 Election Observers

Hajjat Aisha Lubega, the EC Vice-Chairperson on Thursday said that contrary to their previous stand not to send election observers in the coming election, the EU delegation has now expressed interest to be participants.
29 Oct 2020 19:25
Justice Simon Byabakama, the Electoral Commission chairperson and other Commissioners.

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has said that the European Union (EU) mission will have observers in next year’s general election.

Hajjat Aisha Lubega, the EC Vice-Chairperson on Thursday said that contrary to their previous stand not to send election observers in the coming election, the EU delegation has now expressed interest to be participants.

Lubega who chairs the EC Election Observer Accreditation Committee added that they are now working on the EU accreditation process.

 

Some of the organizations already cleared to observe the election are Intellectual Aid Network Uganda, Uganda National NGO Forum, and Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) and Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM), Women's Democracy Network-Uganda Chapter (WDN-U) and others.

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In June 2020, the Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici said that the EU would not deploy election observers as Uganda votes in 2021.

He then noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had complicated the electoral process and their plan to deploy observers in the country. He, however, said that they would use the domestic mechanism of collaborating with the Electoral Commission (EC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to devise ways of supporting them to effectively monitor the upcoming election.

The Ambassador emphasized that it was logistically impossible for the EU to observe the 2021 general election and that they also need to feel welcome to the point of being invited as observers since this had not happened yet.

Usually, the EU has its observers on ground by August ahead of the general election but in the absence of a notice to observers coupled by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Attilio then said that the preparation process was impossible.

Over the years, the EU has been one of the biggest international election monitors in Uganda, with more than 60 election observers in the country in the last general election held in 2016.

The 2021 elections are scheduled to start with the Parliamentary elections on 14th January. The Electoral Commission is yet to announce the date for Presidential election pending nominations on 2nd and 3rd November 2020.

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