KAMPALA: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) election observation mission to Uganda commenced work Tuesday with emphasis on the districts of Wakiso, Mukono and greater-Kampala region.
IGAD, is a seven-member regional bloc comprising of countries in the Nile Valley, Great Lakes and Nile valley, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya.
The head of the IGAD election observer mission, Yufnalis Okubo, said Tuesday they had deployed in only three districts because they are a small team—of only 10 members.
“What we are mainly looking out is the electoral process; how are the laws being adhered to, is the environment conducive, from these districts and then we shall relate it to the rest of the country to determine whether the polls were free and fair in the final report,” Mr Okubo said.
The election observer mission will cover both presidential and parliamentary elections. There scope of time, Mr Okubo, said will expire on February 22.
He added: “the head of the mission, in accordance with the terms of reference that has been prepared by the IGAD secretariat based on the AU election observation guidelines has met and held talks with various stakeholders like the electoral commission and representatives of the main two political camps.”
IGAD becomes the third African regional bloc to deploy election observers ahead of tomorrow’s presidential polls. Others African blocs already in the country include East African Community and African Union.
President Museveni, the incumbent seeking reelection for a fifth term in office after 30 years in office has been and is a key figure in IGAD’s goings-on, for example the recent peace efforts in South Sudan, but yesterday Mr Okubo, said this will not in any way affect their work or cloud their thinking.
“Our job here is to monitor elections, and we will make recommendations thereafter to the electoral commission to implement them,” he said.