As Commonwealth observers began deploying across Uganda, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called for a peace and transparency in Thursday’s election in the country
This is contained in a statement by Will Henley, Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, released in Abuja on Tuesday.
The statement said that Obasanjo, the Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, joined the team in Kampala on Monday ahead of the presidential and parliamentary polls.
“As observers, we hope to see a transparent and credible election process. Our eyes are open, and we will report what we see without fear or favour.
“All stakeholders, including party candidates and supporters, election officials, police and security forces, should play their part in ensuring voters are free to express their preference at the ballot box.
“They should ensure that the election is conducted peacefully, without resort to intimidation or violence,” it quoted Obasanjo as saying.
He expressed the group’s determination to be utterly impartial and objective in conducting its observation duties, acting in the group’s individual capacities as independent commonwealth citizens.
“Our assessment will be our own, and we will aim to be as constructive as possible.
“I wish the people of Uganda well and pledge the unwavering solidarity of the Commonwealth family to the strengthening of the country’s democracy,” Obasanjo said.
The statement said that on Tuesday, Obasanjo and heads of other international observer missions in Uganda cautioned Ugandan stakeholders over the elections.
It stated that the group called on them to “refrain from any act, statement or dissemination of information that may cause tension, ill-will, disturbance, intimidation and adversely affect the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections.”
It stated that the Commonwealth Observer Group had been in Uganda since Thursday, adding that the 13-member team had Senator Amos Wako, a former Attorney-General of Kenya, as vice chairman.
It explained that since its arrival, the group had met the Electoral Commission to discuss preparations for polling day.
The statement added that the group had also heard from political parties, citizen observer groups, human rights, gender and youth groups, as well as resident High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries.
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