Uganda’s electoral commission plans to meet with both local and international poll observers on Monday ahead of the February 18 presidential, parliamentary and local elections. The electoral officials say they will brief the poll monitors about preparations made so far to ensure the polls are free, transparent and credible. They also said the electoral commission would seek to inform the poll observers what is expected of them during the elections. The electoral body has so far approved about 2,000 poll observers who would be deployed across the country to monitor the elections. “They have been coming in to pay courtesy calls to also ask a few preliminary questions. They have been around so we think they also have notes they have made through their observations since we accredited them, and on Monday we will share with them and to learn something from them,” said Jotham Taremwa, spokesman for the electoral commission. “
He denied media reports that there appears to be rising tension among supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and opposition supporters from the Forum for Democratic Change (DFC) as well as supporters of independent candidate, Patrick Amama Mbabazi, who is a former prime minister.
Opposition supporters accuse the NRM of using state institutions including the police and other security agencies to intimidate and harass them in a bid to suppress opposition voter turnout in the upcoming polls.