Preliminary statement on the 2016 general election from CEON-U

The following is an excerpt of the preliminary statement of the Citizens Election Observers Network – Uganda (CEON-U) on the 2016 presidential and parliamentary election. CEON-U, of which African Centre for Media Excellence is a member, is a consortium of 18 national and 23 sub national civil society organisations which have agreed to conduct a unified, comprehensive and effective citizen election observation mission for the 2016 general election. 

Read or download the full statement at the end of this excerpt.

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Voting

During the voting process, polling officials at most polling stations followed procedures, Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) functioned well, with some problems. However, there were some problems with voters, including a high percentage of voters assisted by unauthorized persons.

  • In 90% of polling stations, voters were checked for ink before receiving a ballot.
  • In 89% of polling stations the BVVS functioned properly. Among the 10% that malfunctioned, 65% were fixed and 13% were replaced. In 1% of polling stations, there were no BVVS.
  • Polling officials were sufficiently able to use the BVVS machines in 91% of polling stations.
  • In 87%, polling officials instructed voters on voting procedures.
  • In 80% of polling stations, voters were able to vote in secret.
  • 73% of locations did not have unauthorized personnel present inside the polling station. However, crime preventers were present in 13% of polling stations.
  • 91% of polling stations did not have incidents of intimidation, harassment or violence during the voting. Among the 9% of polling stations that had such incidents, election officials were the targets in 34%, party agents in 24%, observers in 6%, and voters in 39%.
  • In 69% of polling stations some (1 – 14) voters were assisted to vote. Party agents assisted voters in 13% of those polling stations, which is contrary to the law.
  • During voting, party agents of Amama Mbabazi were present in 41% of polling stations. Party agents of Yoweri Museveni were present in 95% of polling stations. Party agents of Kizza Besigye were present in 84% of polling stations.
  • In 87% of polling stations where voting took place, all voters in queue by 4pm were able to vote.

Closing and Counting

  • In 99% of polling stations, polling officials sorted ballots in full view of the candidates’ agents.
  • 69% polling stations did not have unauthorized personnel present during counting. However, 15% of polling stations had crime preventers present.
  • Party agents are useful in an election because they can deter fraud especially if they are vigilant and loyal to their candidate/party. During counting, party agents of Amama Mbabazi were present in 45% of polling stations. Party agents of Yoweri Museveni were present in 98% of polling stations. Party agents of Kizza Besigye were present in 93% of polling stations.
  • Where party agents of Amama Mbabazi were present, his agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 45% of polling stations. Where his agents were present, 4% refused to sign.
  • Where agents of Yoweri Museveni were present, his agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 97% of polling stations. Where his agents were present, 3% refused to sign.
  • Where party agents of Kizza Besigye were present, his agents signed the Declaration of Results form in 93% of polling stations. Where his agents were present, 2% refused to sign.
  • Presidential election results were posted publicly at 91% of polling stations.

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