US Won’t Observe Uganda’s Election As Accreditations Gets Denied
United States ambassador to Uganda has on Wednesday the embassy has canceled plans to observe the country’s tense presidential election on Thursday, citing a decision by electoral authorities to deny accreditation to most members of the observation team.
The purpose of a diplomatic observation of elections is to demonstrate interests 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.
Ambassador Natalie E. Brown expressed “profound disappointment” over the accreditation denial in a statement, saying more than 75% of the accreditations requested had been denied.
The statement reads;
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. As we have stated previously, the United States takes no side in Uganda’s upcoming elections. We support a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive electoral process.
Without the robust participation of observers, Uganda’s elections will lack the accountability, transparency and confidence that observer missions provide.
The U.S. embassy’s statement came the morning after longtime Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni spoke harshly against Facebook and unnamed outside groups he accused of “arrogance.”