Ambassador Atillio Pacific, who is the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Uganda, has said they are impressed with the level of organization and peaceful conduct exhibited during the presidential and parliamentary polls held on Thursday.
“We saw an extremely well-organized election exercise with people very orderly waiting to cast their votes and everything went on very peacefully. We are very impressed…the (Electoral Commission) presiding officers were very professional,” Ambassador Pacifici said.
The EU delegation chief made the remarks Friday while speaking to journalists at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds where the EC tally center for collating parliamentary election results for Kampala’s five divisions has been set up.
“It is very impressive that there are so many young, well-educated Ugandans [involved in the electoral process],” he added during their impromptu visit to the tally centre.
The European Union has this time not deployed election monitors, as it has traditionally done, in part because the government of Uganda has not implemented a raft of recommendations that the European Union election Observers have made during the past polls.
Instead, the European Union has sent what it calls a diplomatic watch – a team of diplomatic staff from various embassies of the bloc member countries in Kampala – to just see things transpiring in the elections. The diplomatic watch members will not issue formal election observation mission reports or make specific recommendations, unlike professional election observers.
The EU has assembled 63 staff divided into 17 groups to traverse parts of the country to informally observe compliance with electoral processes and procedures. They are expected to file reports for internal use by the European Union.
Among the places that the diplomatic watch team has visited are Mbale, Moroto, Arua, Lira, and Rukungiri. Except for sporadic localized clashes among supporters of rival political camps and arrests, including 30 civil society observers, police and EC reported that Thursday’s vote was generally peaceful.
The results for parliamentary elections are being declared progressively at districts while the EC national tally center in Kyambogo, Kampala, is announcing provisional cumulative results for presidential candidates and is expected to declare a winner by 4pm Saturday.