Commonwealth Observers leader, Obasanjo, calls for peaceful, transparent election in Uganda


The Chairman of the Commonwealth Election Observer Group to Uganda and Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has called for peaceful and transparent election in Uganda.

A statement issued on Tuesday by Will Henley, Commonwealth Communications Officer, said Obasanjo made the call when he joined the team in Kampala ahead of the scheduled presidential and parliamentary polls.

Obasanjo expressed the hope that people of Ugandan would enjoy a peaceful and credible election scheduled for Feb. 18.

“As observers, we hope to see a transparent and credible election process. Our eyes are open and we will report what we see without fear or favour.

“All stakeholders, including party candidates and supporters, election officials, police and security forces, should play their part in ensuring that voters are free to express their preference at the ballot box.

“They should also ensure that the election is conducted peacefully, without resort to intimidation or violence.

“We will be utterly impartial and objective in conducting our duties as observers and acting in our individual capacities as independent Commonwealth citizens.

“Our assessment will be our own, and we will aim to be as constructive as possible”, the statement quoted Obasanjo saying.

He wished the people of Uganda well and pledged the unwavering solidarity of the Commonwealth family to the strengthening of the country’s democracy.

The statement added that the Commonwealth election observer teams travelled to Arua, Gulu, Kabale, Kampala, Jinja, Masindi, Mbale and Mbarara earlier on Feb. 16.

It said the teams would observe voting, counting and results processes at polling stations and counting centres.

According to it, an interim assessment of their observations will be issued shortly after the Election Day.

basanjo and heads of other international observer missions in Uganda have urged stakeholders to “refrain from any act, statement or dissemination of information that might cause tension.

They also advised the people to eschew acts that could attract ill-will, disturbance, and intimidation and adversely affect the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections.

It said that the 13-man strong team had since its arrival in Uganda met with the Electoral Commission to discuss preparations for the polling day.

“It has also heard from political parties, citizen observer groups, human rights, gender and youth groups, as well as resident High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries.

“The group’s eminent members include serving and former politicians, electoral commissioners, and human rights, gender, youth and media experts.

“The eminent members hail from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Dominica, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, and the United Kingdom”, it said. (NAN)

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