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Lining Up Exposed Irregularities in NRM Primaries- Election Observers

The National Election Watch -NEW U, a consortium of over 60 civil society organizations observed the elections in 35 districts of the country at over 100 polling stations.
Members of the NEW-U addressing the press in Kabalagala

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Election Observers have said that lining up during the National Resistance Movement-NRM party primaries compromised the vote and ignored principles of a free and fair election.

   

The National Election Watch -NEW U, a consortium of over 60 civil society organizations observed the elections in 35 districts of the country at over 100 polling stations.  

Perry Aritua, the Executive Director of Women’s Democracy Network says lining up doesn't respect the principle of secrecy which affected some voters especially the women in rural areas. 

In their findings, the observers met women who shunned the polls for fear of being identified as supporters of a rival candidate, while others didn't want to vote against the will of their husbands.

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In July, the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the supreme organ of the NRM endorsed lining up behind candidates during the primaries to ensure transparency and credibility of the electoral process.

However, Rita Aciro the Chairperson of NEW-U while addressing the press on  Sunday said that from interaction with voters, they learnt that the lining up method had a psychological effect on voters.

 

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The observers also noted massive voter bribery that seemed to have been exacerbated by the method of election.

In some parts of the country, agents of candidates dished out money at the polling station to lure voters. In parts of Kamwokya, some voters refused to line up until they are given money.

The observers also noted the several cases of violence that were experienced during the election and the involvement of security personnel.

The Executive Director of Center for Constitutional governance, Sarah Bireete says the government should reign on the State Minister for Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana and be held accountable for his actions. Rukutana was arrested on Saturday for inciting violence and attempted murder.

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Fr. Constantine Mbonabingi, a co-chairperson of NEW-U says acts of violence is a reflection of what could happen in the General elections. 

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