The United States will not observe the January 14th general elections that will determine Uganda’s next president according to Ambassador Natalie Brown.
Through a statement issued by her office on Wednesday January 13th, 2021, the US Ambassador to Uganda said that the cancellation had been informed by the decision by the Electoral Commission of Uganda to deny more than 75 per cent of the US election observer accreditations requested.
“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 Brown, U.S Ambassador to Uganda
She said that despite multiple requests, the Electoral Commission provided no explanation for its decision, “which it communicated mere days before the elections”.
Brown noted that they had complied with all Electoral Commission accreditation requirements, as they had in previous elections in Uganda.
“The purpose of a diplomatic observation of elections is to demonstrate our interest in a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive electoral process,”Ambassador Natalie Brown, U.S Ambassador to Uganda
She also added that as diplomatic observers, they had no intentions to participate in the electoral process but rather observe to ensure that the entire process is free and fair.
“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.”Ambassador Natalie Brown, U.S Ambassador to Uganda
She said that America supports a free, fair, peaceful, and inclusive electoral process.
Natalie added that the U.S is deeply concerned of reports that the Uganda Electoral Commission has denied accreditation requests from members of other diplomatic and civil society organizations as well as other observers.
“Numerous civil society organizations planned to observe the elections, but many have not heard back from the Electoral Commission on their accreditation applications.”Ambassador Natalie Brown, U.S Ambassador to Uganda