Just a few hours to the elections, US Embassy in Uganda has cancelled its Diplomatic Observer Mission of Uganda’s Elections.
In a statement issued by U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown, she says that the decision to cancel the observation of Uganda’s January 14 elections is due to the decision by the Electoral Commission of Uganda to deny more than 75 per cent of the U.S. election observer accreditations requested.
“It is with profound disappointment that I announce U.S. Mission in Uganda’s decision. With only 15 accreditations approved, it is not possible for the United States to meaningfully observe the conduct of Uganda’s elections at polling sites across the country,” Ambassador Natalie E. Brown says in a statement.
Natalie states that despite the multiple requests, the Electoral Commission has provided no explanation for its decision, which it communicated mere days before the elections.
“The purpose of a diplomatic observation of elections is to demonstrate our interest in a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive electoral process. Diplomatic observers are not participants or advisors in the electoral process.
Rather, they informally observe the conduct of elections, following strict standards of impartiality, non-interference, and compliance with local laws. The Government of Uganda has supported such U.S. observer efforts in multiple previous Ugandan elections. This makes the decision now to deny accreditation to all but a small, randomly selected handful of our observers all the more troubling,” she says.
She insists that the United States takes no side in Uganda’s upcoming elections as they support a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive electoral process.
For Uganda’s 2016 elections, the U.S. Mission dispatched 88 diplomatic election observers.