"...leaders must rise to a nationwide standard of zero tolerance to violence in Uganda."
The Citizens’ Election Observers Network – Uganda (CEON-Uganda) is a consortium of 18 civil society organizations committed to conducting a unified, comprehensive and effective domestic election observation mission for the 2016 general elections. The consortium’s intervention is guided by the overarching need to promote transparency, accountability and integrity, as well as increase citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral processes.
On October 27, 2015 NRM held its primary elections in most parts of the country to choose leaders who will represent the party in the 2016 Ugandan general elections. CEON-U observed the process and focused on: 1) the level of preparedness of the party’s electoral commission; and 2) whether the process was transparent, credible, free and fair.
The Citizens' Elections Observers Network - Uganda, held a press conference on 2nd November 2016 at FHRI offices to present a report on their observance of the just concluded NRM primaries and offer recommendations to many of the issues raised therein.
The statement presented is based on reports from 182 Long term Observers (LTOs) deployed in 182 Constituencies across the country, who witnessed voting in one thousand three hundred and twenty two (1322) NRM polling stations (PS).
The recomendations made were;
1) CEON-U calls upon the leadership of the NRM, at the highest levels, to condemn violence and voter bribery that plagued the party’s primary elections across the country, in the strongest terms possible;
2) Candidates standing for elective positions must at all times adhere to laid down legal frameworks set by the party/country. All candidates and officials must at all times adhere to electoral code of conduct;
3) CEON-U condemns commercialization of politics. Prospective leaders must look at politics as an opportunity to offer service not an avenue for making easy/quick money;
4) Electoral Management Body needs to focus on timely planning and execution of election logistics in order to improve on the credibility of the process;
5) Strengthen the capacity of police to contain internal processes such as elections, which is their constitutional mandate and avoid un-necessary deployment of security agencies, such as army and military police, which intimidates the electorate;
6) CEON-U further calls upon the police and NRM leadership to ensure that all those who were caught committing violence and intimidation, bribery and other acts of election malpractices are prosecuted in courts of law. This will contribute to deterring commission of such acts in future elections.