The Unites States Embassy in Uganda has cancelled their Diplomatic Observer Mission of Uganda’s Elections.
The United States Embassy in Uganda has cancelled its Diplomatic Observer Mission of Uganda’s Elections. According to the Embassy, the vast majority of requests
for observing the election were not approved, by the Electoral
Commission, leaving them with a skeletal team which cannot meaningfully
undertake the task.
"It is with profound disappointment that I announce
the U.S. Mission in Uganda’s decision to cancel our diplomatic observation of
Uganda’s January 14 elections due to the decision by the Electoral Commission
of Uganda to deny more than 75 per cent of the U.S. election observer
accreditation's requested,” she said in a statement by Ambassador Natalie E. Brown.
Ambassador Natalie says that despite their multiple requests to the
Electoral Commission (EC), no explanation was provided for its decision which
the Ambassador said was communicated just days before polling day. She adds that with only 15
accreditation's approved, it is not possible for the United States to
meaningfully observe the conduct of Uganda’s elections at polling sites across
The Ambassador says that the US takes no side in Uganda’s
upcoming elections and that they support a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive
electoral process. She also raises concern about reports that the
EC has denied accreditation requests from members of other diplomatic missions
and large numbers of Ugandan observers.
“The purpose of a diplomatic observation of
elections is to demonstrate our interest in a free, fair, peaceful, and
inclusive electoral process. Diplomatic
observers are not participants or advisors in the electoral process. Rather, they informally observe the conduct
of elections, following strict standards of impartiality, non-interference, and
compliance with local laws.
Ambassador Natalie says that the absence of the
robust participation of observers, particularly Ugandan observers who are
answerable to their fellow citizens, the country’s elections will lack the
accountability, transparency and confidence that observer missions
Yesterday, the European Union Delegation to Uganda announced that its offer to deploy a small team of electoral experts was not taken up by the Electoral Commission, and as such, European Union observers, who were deployed across the country during
elections in 2006, 2011 and 2016 will not observe the 2021 elections.
Ambassador Natalie says that Uganda will now miss the
opportunity to benefit from observers’ insights to improve and inform future
elections. Ugandans go to the polls tomorrow Thursday, January, 14 to vote for a President and Members of Parliament.