The Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama has said they are satisfied with the organization and outcome of the 2021 election that he said was successful.
Appearing before the Human Rights Committee of parliament on Friday, Byabakama said despite a few incidents, the process and outcome were satisfying.
“We are satisfied with the overall processes and procedures in the 2021 elections and the resultant outcome as reflecting the will of voters. I can comfortably say that the 2021 general elections were free and fair,” Byabakama said.
The EC chairperson insisted that the few unavoidable incidents cannot be a basis for branding the 2021 election as not free and fair.
Following the January 14 polls, several presidential candidates, especially from the opposition said everything was wrong with the elections in which the incumbent, President Museveni was declared the winner.
National Unity Platform’s Robert Kyagulanyi said the polls were rigged, adding that the violence and brutality meted out to him and his team as the Electoral Commission watched pointed to unfairness.
Kyagulanyi cited his numerous arrests and that of his supporters, death of supporters and disruption of campaign meetings as some of the pointers to the election not being free and fair.
However, the Electoral Commission chairperson on Friday told parliament that whereas they put in place guidelines to avoid the spread of Coronavirus that had to be followed, the same was not done by many candidates.
He noted that this saw them collide with security agencies that were enforcing the guidelines.
“The Electoral Commission put in place measures stopping mass rallies and processions but some political actors went ahead and violated them. That attracted security to come in and stop them.”
He insisted that all they did was in accordance with the law.
“Whatever the law commanded of us to do, we did that. Whatever systems and procedures the law permits us, we put them in place. Overall, despite the presence of Covid-19 and the restrictions it came with, we were able to do a credible exercise.”
He said the commission would look into allegations of presiding officers altering results on the declaration of result forms.