Civil society groups have lined up observers for the by-election in Ruhaama County, Ntungamo District, Western Uganda.
Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) together with the South Western Institute for Policy and Advocacy (SOWIPA) say they are deploying 30 community election observers for the poll set for January 11.
Observers will be deployed in the 11 Sub Counties of Ruhaama, including: Ntungamo, Itojo, Nyakyera, Ruhaama, Ruhaama East, Rukoni East, Rukoni West, Kafunjo TC, Rweikiniro, Kitwe TC and Rubobo.
“Observers will report on general election administration including opening, polling and closing processes of polling stations; tallying and announcement of results; the conduct of security agencies; the role of media; participation of special interest groups; as well as the immediate aftermath of the by-election,” CCEDU Secretariat said in a statement to ChimpReports on Tuesday afternoon.
“The observation is intended to verify whether the electoral processes adhere to international standards and national legal provisions of conducting credible, free and fair elections.”
CCEDU further said observers will also pay special attention to any arising good practices that could be replicated in subsequent elections.
The Ruhaama Constituency seat fell vacant after the death of area MP William Beijukye Zinkuratire (NRM) on November 4, 2017.
The by-election has attracted a total of four candidates who are Mr Moses Mugabe Kahima (NRM), Eng. Jackson Mubangizi (Independent), Dr. Penninah Bainomugisha (Independent) and Ms. Vastine Orishaba (Independent).
President Museveni is today expected in the area to rally support for the ruling party candidate.
Campaigns for the by-election commenced on December 11, 2017 following a successful nomination of candidates’ exercise conducted by the Electoral Commission.
CCEDU expressed concern over alleged intimidation.
“Although campaigns have been largely peaceful, community observers have noted widespread reports of political intimidation especially in Rweikiniro Sub County; instances of voter bribery; isolated incidents of violence as well as cases of candidates holding campaign meetings beyond 6:00pm, which is in contravention of the EC guidelines on campaigning,” the organisation observed.