The Electoral Commission chairman Justice Simon Byabakama,  says they remain one of the most credible electoral commission agencies not only in Africa but also in the world and their role in the promotion of democracy should be appreciated.

Speaking at the International Democracy day celebrations, Byabakama dismissed the widely held view that the Electoral commission cannot hold a credible election.

A bitter Byabakama said that Some Ugandans are just biased towards the EC arguing that even if God sent angels to conduct the Elections, they would still dispute the outcome because it’s in their DNA that as long as it’s not in their favour it’s not right.

Byabakama noted he is surprised at how the Opposition is so skeptical about their work yet the EC carries out an open process that ensures that all Ugandans are included to observe all levels of the Election cycle.

“When we bring in ballots in our warehouses in Kireka, for example, everybody is called upon to come and witness. [On Election Day], every candidate is allowed at least two agents at the polling station. [Also,] least five voters are called upon to witness the opening of boxes before elections can commence,” he said, adding that they ensure that voting ends by 4:00 pm so that the other activities like the voter counting happens during the light of day.

The International Day of Democracy was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly on November 8, 2007, and is celebrated every 15th  day of September all over the world.

Speaking at the event, Byabakama, said he was mindful that there are areas of improvement, however, “We are studying all the previous petitions and judgments where we erred to ensure that we do a better job,” he said.

United Nations Development Program the event sponsors represented by Sheila Ngatya, called upon the government to ensure observance of rule of law and respect of all players in the politics of the country if Democracy is to be realized.

Referencing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ message for the event, she said: “Democracy is built on inclusion, equal treatment, and participation — and it is a fundamental building block for peace, sustainable development, and human rights.”

Sheila further added the government needs to bring all stakeholders involved such as civil society and political parties into political processes as this is an important the cornerstone of good governance adding that True democracy is a two-way street, built on a constant dialogue.

 

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