2021 election: European Union will not deploy observers

Friday June 19 2020
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The Head of Delegation of the European Union in Uganda, Mr Attilio Pacifici

The Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Uganda, Mr Attilio Pacifici has said that they will not deploy election observers as Uganda votes in 2021.

Over the years, the EU has been one of the biggest international election monitors in Uganda.

In the 2016 general elections, EU deployed more than 60 election observers in the country.

Mr Pacifici said that the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the electoral process and the plan to deploy observers in the country.

He, however, said that they will use domestic mechanisms and collaborate with the Electoral Commission (EC) and Civil Society Organisations to devise ways of supporting them to effectively monitor the forthcoming election.

Mr Pacifici said that it is logistically impossible for the EU to observe the 2021 general election.

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 He says that under normal circumstances, the EU would have deployed observers by August ahead of the February general election but in the absence of a notice to observers, coupled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the preparation process is impossible.

The EC chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama on Tuesday said that open-air campaigns in the run-up to the 2021 general elections will not be allowed.

Mr Byabakama said that in order to comply with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health to limit the spread of coronavirus, candidates will use platforms like TVs, radios and other digital systems to woo voters.

 Mr Pacifici said that the process is new for everyone and called for dialogue between stakeholders to ensure a fairness.

 He said that the situation is challenging and authorities need to make the right decisions.

The new election roadmap has been rejected by various political players and commentators who have described it as impractical, illegal, biased and in introduced in bad faith to favour President Museveni.

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