EC Suspends CCEDU from Observing Elections Top story

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In short
In his letter to CCEDU, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugyenyi, says they have resolved to suspend CCEDU as partners in disseminating voter education messages and as an election observer for being partisan.

Electoral Commission has suspended the Citizens Coalition of Electoral Democracy in Uganda-CCEDU from observing elections in the country. 

In his letter to CCEDU, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugyenyi, says they have resolved to suspend CCEDU as partners in disseminating voter education messages and as an election observer for being partisan.

  
EC also accuses CCEDU of shunning the women council election calling it a sham despite the big turn up. Byabakama accuses the CCEDU officials of going to the media and discrediting the ongoing electoral processes. 

"Many times CCEDU has acted outside the election observance guideline as set by the Electoral commission, this undermines the objectivity and commitment in adhering to the laid down standards of engagement as far as election related activities are concerned," the July 4th letter reads.

  
EC says they need honest, credible and impartial partners, adding that their relations with CCEDU have been suspended until further notice. Byabakama says CCEDU will not observe current and any future elections. On its part CCEDU says it has been working to ensure free and fair elections.

 
Crispy Kaheru, the National Coordinator CCEDU, says their differences with the Commission can be resolved through dialogue.  

"We are also aware of the suspension of accreditation of CCEDU by the EC not to observe these and future elections as well as to conduct voter education. We consider this to be a difference in work methods.  Whereas CCEDU believes in exposing good practices and shortcomings to ensure a free and fair election, the EC believes that CCEDU should merely document and share findings. This is a matter we strongly believe can be resolved through dialogue," Kaheru said.
 


Kaheru says they are opposed to voting by lining up, even as the country goes to the polls on Tuesday. He says they will voluntarily not observe this election. "CCEDU subscribes to the internationally recognized standard of elections by secret ballot; and that is why members of the Coalition petitioned the Constitutional Court, for an appropriate interpretation of the law." Kaheru says. 

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.