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EU to spend sh12b on monitoring elections

By David Lumu

Added 12th January 2016 11:20 AM

Observers will be based in the districts of Kampala, Mityana, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal, Masindi, Arua, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale and Jinja

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The deputy EU chief observer Marian Gabriel. Photo by Peter Busomoke

Observers will be based in the districts of Kampala, Mityana, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal, Masindi, Arua, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale and Jinja

THE European Union election observation mission for Uganda, which starts work today, will use sh12b (€3m) for the exercise, Marian Gabriel, the deputy chief observer has told New Vision.

“They will be observing all aspects of the electoral process in their duty areas, meeting with election officials, candidates and civil society representatives. They will report back to the core team in Kampala and the information they provide will be the basis for the mission’s assessment,” he said.

The team of 30 observers was today dispatched to various up-country districts at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala.

These observers will be based in the districts of Kampala, Mityana, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal, Masindi, Arua, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale and Jinja.

The observers, who were invited by government, are led by Eduard Kukan, a Slovak member of the European Union Parliament.

Each team has a car, driver and a local assistant to guide them during the mission tour.

he  observers who will be posted at various stations in the country hoto by eter usomoke The EU observers who will be posted at various stations in the country. Photo by Peter Busomoke

Gabriel told New Vision that the core mission of the team is to monitor elections, establish whether there is freedom of assembly, monitor media coverage of candidates or access of candidates to media, gage election preparations, conduct of polls and track the partisan behavior of state operatives.

The other key area of observation, Gabriel said, would be on how the register crafted out of the National Identity registration will be accurate.

“The team has been observing elections in very different countries and has a lot of experience.  We are not here to only recommend but to give a picture of the elections to Ugandans,” he said.

On polling day, another team of 80 observers will jet into the country to monitor voting.

Some observers New Vision contacted were ecstatic about the mission.

Kadi Viik said that “I look forward to having an exciting time. I will keep my mind very open. I will be stationed in Masaka.”

On the other hand, Skovbo Stig said “We hope that our assignment can be handled to our expectation.”

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