KAMPALA, 15 January 2016. – In response to an invitation from the Ugandan authorities, on 28 December 2015 the European Union established an election observation mission to observe the General Elections with the arrival of a core team of 10 election analysts. This is the third mission to take place in Uganda, which shows the commitment of the EU to strengthening democracy in this country. Mr. Eduard Kukan, a Slovak member of the European Parliament, is the Chief Observer of the mission, which will comprise over 120 observers from all EU member states, as well as Norway.
“First of all, I would like to emphasize our full support to Ugandans, who are facing a decisive moment in the country’s history. Concerns have been brought to us regarding potential election violence, equal access of candidates to the media and the accuracy of the Voter Register,” Mr. Kukan stated.
“Since my arrival in Kampala, I have met with a wide range of interlocutors, including the Electoral Commission and we have discussed the importance of the transparency and inclusiveness of the electoral process,” remarked the Chief Observer.
On 12 January, 30 long-term observers were been deployed to locations around the country, from where they are meeting all relevant stakeholders, including government and electoral officials, candidates and political parties’ representatives, as well as members of civil society, voters and the media across Uganda. Prior to Election day, around 80 short-term observers will join the mission to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results.
The purpose of this mission is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process based on long-term observation and a methodology developed by the EU over twenty years. This analysis will include aspects such as: the legal framework; the work of the election administration; the role of State institutions and civil society; campaign activities; the conduct of the media; voting and counting; the complaints and appeals process; and the announcement of the results.
This mission includes two innovations to standard EU observation methodology: analysis of how political campaigns are financed and random sampling of the polling stations to be observed on Election day.
Two days after the election, a Preliminary Statement will be presented by Mr. Kukan in a press conference.
The mission operates in accordance with the “Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation,” adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in 2005. All observers adhere to a Code of Conduct that requires strict neutrality in the course of their work.