As the Uganda presidential election draws closer, several regional and international organizations have started laying strategies to ensure that the elections are free and fair. They are also determined to avoid politically motivated conflicts in the Eastern African country.
East African Community (EAC) in conjuction with COMESA (a 19 member state economic bloc), Electoral Institute for the sustainability of Democracy in Africa (EISA) and Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD) are expected to send a joint election observation delegation to monitor the forthcoming elections in Uganda.
Speaking at a joint meeting with Uganda’s Electoral Commission in Kampala today, EAC’s Deputy Secretary General Political Affairs, Beatrice Kiraso said that “about 60 members from the multi-Institutions’ observation team are to reach the country in the last two weeks before the elections.
“We consider the Electoral process as a big role in democratic governance and we are concerned that if Elections don’t move well in Uganda country, it might affect all EAC programs of having a political federation.”
She said the team is to work together with officials from European Union and
African Union to see that all regions are represented in this monitoring.
And Badru Kiggundu, chairman of Uganda Electoral Commission, has confirmed that the commission is ready to work together with international observers to ensure a free and fair election.
Applauding the peaceful campaigns in Uganda Beatrice Kiraso noted that “the prevailing peace in the campaign trail of candidates at all levels is a
sign of political maturity in the country”.
According to Kiraso, the current electoral campaign has been marked by exemplary organization and discipline following the various presidential candidates’ decision to go to different areas on different days; A discipline that lacked in the previous election held in the country.
She also appreciates the respect supporters of different political parties have continued to show to each other during the campaigns. Uganda has not registered any fights or clashes since the beginning of presidential campaign season some two months ago.
Uganda’s presidential and general elections, scheduled to take place on February 18th, 2011, will see 8 candidates, including incumbent Yoweri Museveni vying for president.