7 March 2018

Uganda: Besigye, Museveni to Meet EU Observer Team

Kampala — Locally and internationally, pressure is mounting on government and other political players to enact meaningful electoral reforms ahead of the next electoral exercise.

Several groups and individuals have reignited the demand for the reforms more than two years after the February 18, 2016, General Election.

The latest is the European Union, which has deployed an Election Follow-up Mission (EFM). The team commenced its work on Monday and is expected to finish tomorrow.

The EU team was yesterday due to meet with President Museveni and Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye. They will also, according to an EU statement, hold meetings with political parties, media, civil society and representatives of the international community pending a publication of their report.

"The EU stands by Uganda in strengthening its democratic principles... Now is the time for Opposition and government to rebuild trust ahead of the coming elections," Mr Eduard Kukan, chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to the 2016 general elections in Uganda, said in a statement.

While the EU was non-committal on whether the 2016 polls were free and fair, the observer team in a 42-page report detailed a number of issues that impugned the credibility of the widely criticised exercise.

"EC lacked independence and transparency whereupon the elections fell short of international standards... ," the report reads in part.

The senior presidential press secretary, Mr Don Wanyama, said: "A meeting is scheduled with ambassadors of EU countries and we shall let you know of the details if it is necessary."

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