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EAC Election Observation Mission to the 2016 General Elections in the Republic of Uganda - Launch Statement by H.E Ali Hassan Mwinyi, retired President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Head of the EAC Election Observation Mission

Your Excellency Dr. Richard SEZIBERA - Secretary General of the East African Community;

Honorable Minister of EAC Affairs of the Republic of Uganda;

Honorable Members of the East African Legislative Assembly;

Experts from the Partner States;

Participants from Civil Society;

Staff from the EAC Secretariat;

Stakeholders from the press;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Secretary General, let me to join you and your staff in mourning the sudden demise of Ms Isabelle Waffubwa, who had been a visible feature in the promotion of Democratic processes in the region. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour and pleasure to announce to the people of the Republic of Uganda about the arrival of the East African Community (EAC) Election Observation Mission (EOM) to 18 February 2016 general elections in the Republic of Uganda. The Mission is in the country following the invitation by the Government of the Republic of Uganda and in fulfillment of the relevant provisions of the Treaty. It comprises 50 short-term observers drawn from the East African Legislative Assembly, national Human Rights Commissions, Electoral Management Bodies, Civil Society, EAC Youth Ambassadors and Officers from EAC Secretariat.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The EAC Election Observation Mission arrived in Kampala on 7 February 2016 and will remain in the country until 21 February 2016. It was preceded by a team of election experts from the EAC Partner States who arrived on 30 January 2016. The Mission will observe the concluding stages of the campaign process and engage with various stakeholders as well as observe the voting and counting processes on 18 February 2016.

In its assessment of the electoral process, I would like to highlight that the EAC Election Observation Mission will be guided by the democratic principles and values outlined in the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance and the EAC Principles for Election Observation and Evaluation. To this end, the assessment of the electoral process in the Republic of Uganda will be carried out in an impartial and objective manner, informed by the principles and guidelines stipulated in the aforementioned standards as well as the legal framework governing the conduct of elections in the country.

Ladies and gentlemen;

On this day, we are deploying a total of of seventeen teams of EAC observers in the various regions of Uganda to assess the level of preparedness of the elections as well as the polling process. The Mission will issue a statement of its preliminary findings of the elections on 20 February 2016 through a press conference. Subsequently, the EAC will release a final and comprehensive report through its policy organs after the end of the electoral process in the Republic of Uganda.

Distinguished Colleagues from the Press

I would like to inform you that there is a Spokesperson for the Head of Election Observer Mission - Dr. Abdullah Makame who is a Personal Assistant to me. He will be responsible with the press related issues, kindly cooperate with him during the entire process.

Ladies and gentlemen;

May I take this opportunity to wish the citizens of Uganda success in choosing their future leaders through this important democratic exercise.

Long Live Uganda!

Long Live The East African Community.

Thank you very much for your attention.

East African Community
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United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
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