EAC to deploy observer mission for Uganda polls

Friday December 11 2020
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Mr Liberat Mfumukeko, secretary-general of the East African Community. PHOTO/COURTESY/EAC SECRETARIAT.

By Tonny Abet

The secretary-general of the East African Community (EAC), Amb Liberat Mfumukeko, has written to the Uganda government about plans to deploy an observer mission for next month’s elections.   

A copy of the December 4 letter to the chairperson of Electoral Commission (EC) seen by Daily Monitor indicates that the EAC election observer mission will commence in the middle of this month with a technical and long-term mission.

The EAC said the December deployment will be followed by a short-term mission in mid-January.

 “The East African Community, pursuant to the provisions of Article 6(d), 7(2) and 123(c) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and in accordance with the EAC Principles for Election Observation and Evaluation 2021, takes this honour to inform you that the EAC will be deploying an Observer Mission to the 2020/2021 General Election in the Republic of Uganda,” the letter reads.

The EAC was responding to the December 1 invitation by Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to observe the elections.

The letter by the ministry followed one written on June 25 by the chairperson of the EC, Justice Simon Byabakama, requesting for invitation of international partners who might be interested in observing the elections.

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In the letter, the EC highlighted the international community and institutions, diplomatic missions, election observation organisations and missions and election management bodies (EMBs).

However, some important international bodies may not be observing the next year’s election.  

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

Mr Pacifici was quoted by this newspaper explaining that their failure to participate was due to complications by Covid-19 pandemic. He, however, said their local system that uses civil society organisations will be active in monitoring elections in the country.

The EU is one of the biggest elections observers in Uganda and in the 2016 General Election, it deployed more than 60 observers in the country.
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