CEON-U preliminary findings on the opening of Uganda’s 2016 election

African Centre for Media Excellence is a member of Citizens Election Observers Network – Uganda (CEON-U), a consortium of 15 civil society organizations and 3 associate members which have agreed to conduct a unified, comprehensive and effective domestic election observation mission for the 2016 general elections.

Press release:

The Citizen Election Observers Network Uganda (CEON-U) has observed the following key issues during the opening and set up of polling stations across the country:

  • 41% of polling stations countrywide opened after 8am. 4% of polling stations had not opened as of 8:30am.
  • Although 95% of polling stations had all strategic materials with the other remaining polling stations missing at least one of ballot boxes, voter register, ballot papers, indelible ink, Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) or Declaration of Results Form.

Despite delays, we commend the voters of Uganda for actively participating up until this point. 99% of CEON-U 904 sample based and hot spot observers have reported at their arrival at polling stations.

Findings on opening and set up

With 91% (637 out of 700) of CEON-U’s sample-based observers reporting as of 10:30am, CEON-U has summarized its preliminary findings below.

  • At 55% of polling stations, polling officials arrived by 6:30am.
  • Approximately 40% of polling officials were women.
  • Although 95% of polling stations had all strategic materials, the other polling stations were missing at least one of the following: ballot boxes, voter register, ballot papers, indelible ink, Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) or Declaration of Results Form.
  • In 99% of polling stations, at least 5 registered voters were present before the opening of the polling kit.
  • 99% of poll officials sealed ballot boxes before voting commenced. However in 10 polling stations poll officials did not seal the ballot boxes.
  • 41% of polling stations countrywide opened after 8am. 4% of polling stations had not opened as of 8:30am.
  • During opening and set-up, party agents of Amama Mbabazi were present in 39% of polling stations. Party agents of Yoweri Museveni were present in 85% of polling stations. Party agents of Kizza Besigye were present in 79% of polling stations. 4% of polling stations had no presidential candidate agents present.

CEON-U established a critical incident desk as part of its National Information Centre to receive urgent messages from its observers. To this point in the day, the most frequent incident reports reported by CEON-U’s citizen observers during the opening and set up process related to materials not arriving in polling stations in Bamunanika, Makindye and Rubaga Division.

What to expect next from CEON-U

CEON-U will continue observing throughout the day and will release some of its key findings on the voting process to the media and on social media progresses.

CEON-U will issue a preliminary statement on the conduct of the elections at 10:00am on Friday, February 19 at the National Information Centre in Africana Hotel. This statement will bring together our preliminary findings and conclusions on Election Day conduct. This will include assessing the closing, counting and declaration of results processes, such as the presence of party agents during the counting, whether candidate agents sign off or refuse to sign off on results, as well as the conduct of counting procedures.

CEON-U will also observe tabulation and post-election processes. We anticipate issuing a statement on the conduct of the tabulation process following the Electoral Commission’s official announcement of results. CEON-U will not announce any results projections.

CEON-U has deployed more than 1,150 observers today nationwide to all 290 constituencies across all 112 districts. This includes 700 sample-based observers to a representative, random sample of 700 polling stations, 204 hot-spot observers, 233 mobile supervisors, and 23 regional coordinators. After voting ends, CEON-U will also deploy an additional 112 tabulation observers at all district tabulation centers.

CEON-U’s observers will remain at their assigned polling stations the entire day to observe setup and opening, voting, counting, and the declaration of results. The whole day and night we shall receive data from our CEON-U observers.

***

The African Centre for Media Excellence is a member of CEON-U.

For more information about CEON-U contact Dr. Martin Mwondha on 0788929052 or email ahimbisibwe@ceonu.or.ug or visit our website at http://www.ceonu.or.ug.

CEON – Uganda – Towards 2016: Conducting a Unified, Comprehensive and effective election Observation Mission in Uganda. You can also visit the FHRI offices in Nsambya.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *