EU Election Observer Mission Not Helpful— LOP

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LOP), Hon. Wafula Oguttu Philip has told the a European Union (EU) delegation of Election Observers that their election observer mission to Uganda is not helpful in as far as the betterment or management of the process is concerned.

Wafula Oguttu, The leader of opposition in parliament
Wafula Oguttu, The leader of opposition in parliament

The LOP was addressing a delegation of EU election observer advance team at his office last week where they had called on him to try understand from him what the electoral situation in the country is like at the moment.

Responding to a question on value of EU election observer missions to Ugandan, the LOP said “given the number of observers and time they spend doing their work, their exercise may not help much.

“You will be in only about ten districts and move from one polling station to another till about 4:00pm and leave, how much to you hope to achieve? You are always not there at the district tally center where for us, we are not allowed to see what is entered in the computer for transmission to the National Tally Center,” Hon. Oguttu said.

He said there are several manners in which election malpractices are conducted but the international observers always do not see these. “It is not reflected in your reports,” he charged.

“You do not see polling agents who are bought off or forced to sign on wrong Declaration of Results Forms or situations where our agents are threatened by the security officers manning security in the polling areas,” the LOP said. He went to say, all the observers see is that there was no violence, voting was peaceful, votes were counted in public view and so elections were free and fair. “You get it all wrong,” he said.

The delegation was led by, Mr. Emanuele Giaufret, who is the Head of Division, Democracy and Electoral Observation – European External Action Service in Brussels, Belgium. They were accompanied by the EU Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency Kristian Smith.