Government refutes claims EU was not invited to observe 2021 polls

Government has refuted claims by the European Union that they were not invited to observe the forthcoming 2021 general election.

The EU’s head of delegation to Uganda, Attilio Pacifici recently said government’s failure to send them an invite was among the reasons for them not to participate in observing the forthcoming polls.

However, in a statement released on Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said government on December 18, 2019  and later on July,3, 2020 extended an invitation to all diplomatic missions and international organisations accredited to Uganda and are interested in observing the polls.

“The EU is one of those missions. In addition, a list of the EU diplomats to participate in the exercise was provided including a request for accreditation. Furthermore, a note dated 17 November 2020; the EU provided an updated list of diplomats to participate in the diplomatic watching exercise and also sought accreditation of another three participants of the upcoming electoral expert mission once their names are confirmed in the due course,” the statement said in part.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, government has on several occasions engaged with the EU at various levels including the highest level during which meetings none of the issues being attributed in the press to the EU representative were raised.

“The ministry regrets that instead of using the official channels which remain open, government is learning through the press about issues that may be of interest to EU.”

The development comes only a day after it was reported by the Daily Monitor that at least two heads of the US and European Union-funded NGOs in Uganda were recently deported on accusations of pursuing or supporting an agenda or regime change.

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