Following an invitation from the Government of Uganda, the European Union has established a mission to observe the 18th February General Elections. The Chief Observer of the Election mission is Mr. Eduard Kukan, a Slovak member of the European Parliament. The mission comprises around 120 observers from all EU countries, as well as Norway.
The EU Mission in Uganda says a credible national voters’ register is key to a transparent election. Marian Gabriel, the Deputy Chief Observer at the EU Election Observation Mission 2016, says the Electoral Commission must ensure that the voters’ register is accurate and void of scrutiny from the opposition and the electorate.
Marian says the biometric system is one of the steps the EU Observer Mission thinks will provide safeguards against fraud during the 2016 general elections.
Marian was speaking at the dispatch of thirty EU long-term observers who will be monitoring the campaign period in the run up to the February 18 polls and after.
Thirty EU long-term Observers, grouped in two-person teams, departed yesterday from the Election Observation Mission’s headquarters in Kampala to their respective areas of responsibility across the country.
“They will be observing all aspects of the electoral process in their duty areas, meeting with election officials, candidates and civil society representatives. They will report back to the core team in Kampala and the information they provide will be the basis for the mission’s assessment”, said Mr. Marian
The observers will be based in Kampala, Mityana, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kabarole, Masindi, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale and Jinja districts.
Closer to Election day, around 80 short-term observers will join the mission. Two days after the election, a Preliminary Statement will be presented by the Chief Observer in a press conference.
Marian says the observers will focus on the presidential and parliamentary campaigns to monitor media access to candidates and the role of security forces in the elections, among others.
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