By Damali Mukhaye
The U.S. Mission in Uganda has canceled the diplomatic observation of Uganda’s January 14th elections due to the decision by the Electoral Commission of Uganda to deny more than 75 percent of the U.S. election observer accreditations requested.
The U.S. Ambassador Natalie Brown says that 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.
She says that despite multiple requests, the Electoral Commission provided no explanation for its decision, which it communicated days before the elections.
She adds that the purpose of a diplomatic observation of elections is to demonstrate their interest in a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive electoral process.
She further says that they are concerned about reports that the Electoral Commission has denied accreditation requests from members of other diplomatic missions and large numbers of Ugandan observers most especially numerous civil society organizations that had planned to observe the elections, but many have not heard from the Electoral Commission on their accreditation applications.