EU Election Observers arrive in Uganda for February General Election

January 13, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Gloria Nakiyimba

30 European Union long-term observers-LTOs on Tuesday departed to their respective areas of responsibility across the country.

Members of the European Union Observers are in Uganda to prepare to start monitoring the February General elections.

The observers arrived in Uganda on Sunday. They have been deployed to 15 locations across the country, from where they will closely follow the electoral preparations and campaigning in all districts.

EU Deputy Chief Observer, Mr. Marian Gabriel pointed out that the men and women will be observing all aspects of the electoral process in their duty areas, meeting with election officials, candidates and civil society representatives.

The EU Observers mission will have it’s headquarter in Uganda’s capital Kampala. Other observers have been dispatched to the districts of Mityana and Masaka in central Uganda, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal and Masindi in the western region, Arua, Gulu and Lira in northern Uganda.

The rest of the observers have been sent to Soroti, Moroto, Mbale and Jinja in the east.

They have been tasked to report back to the core team in Kampala and the information they provide will form the basis for the mission’s assessment of the exercise.

Mr. Marian Gabriel noted that another 80 short term observers will join the mission a few days prior to the 18th February polling date.

The EU election observation mission is headed by Mr. Eduard Kukan, a member of the European Parliament from Slovakia.

“The mission’s task is to assess the extent to which the election process complies with Uganda’s international and regional commitments, and with national law. The observers analyse all aspects of the elections, including the legal provisions, political freedoms and dynamics, the work of the electoral administration and the performance of the media” said Gabriel.

Ugandans will go to the polls in February to vote for the new head of state and members of parliament. Eight people are contesting for the top leadership position in the land.

The Presidential race is tight between the incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, running on the ticket of the ruling National Resistance Movement, NRM party, Forum for Democratic Change, FDC party candidate retired Col. Dr. Warren Kizza Besigye Kifefe and the GoFoward Independent candidate and also former Ugandan Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.

Others are Maureen Kyalya, the only woman in the race, Major General Benon Biraao representing the Uganda Farmers Party, Dr. Abed Bwanika of the People’s Development Party who is running for the third time.  Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Vernacious Baryamureeba and Joseph Mabirizi are both running on the independent ticket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster KubutakaRadio.com.

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