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Commonwealth Observer Group issues Final Report on 2011 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Uganda

11 April 2011
A generally peaceful campaign and poll, but poor administrative preparations and lack of a level playing field raise concerns

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has released the final report of the Commonwealth Observer Group which observed the 18 February Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Uganda.

In issuing the report, he said: “The Commonwealth Observer Group recognised that these are just the second multi-party elections in Uganda.

“The group found that while the election campaign and the day of the election were generally calm, problems were reported with regard to the Electoral Commission’s poor management of the process, the lack of a level playing field and the ‘commercialisation of politics’. As a consequence the group found that the key benchmarks for democratic elections were not fully met.”

The Secretary-General stressed: “The Commonwealth stands ready to assist Uganda in further strengthening its democratic process in order to address such problems, some of which reflect concerns raised by the Commonwealth Observer Group that observed the 2006 elections.”

Note to Editors:

The report was completed and signed by all members of the Commonwealth Observer Group prior to their departure from Uganda. It was presented to the Commonwealth Secretary-General by the chair of the group, Dame Billie Miller, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados. It has subsequently been distributed to the Government of Uganda, political parties, the Electoral Commission and all other Commonwealth governments.

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