By Andrew Irumba
Sam Asiimwe Rwakoojo, the Secretary of the Electoral Commission, has shed more light about preparations the Commission is undertaking to ensure that the 2021 general election is a success.
Rwakoojo said the Commission aims at organising free, fair and peaceful elections on 2021.
Rwakoojo was addressing delegates at a 2-day Symposium held by the Electoral Commission at Speke Resort Munyonyo to sensitize the nation about the Electoral processes. Here below is the EC Secretary’s address at the Symposium;
Remarks by Mr. Sam A. Rwakoojo Secretary/Electoral Commission at the Symposium on Strengthening the Electoral Process in Uganda
4th – 5th December 2019
Speke Resort, Munyonyo, Kampala
The Guest of Honour
Honourable Ministers Present
Honourable Members of Parliament
Your Excellencies the Ambassadors/ High Commissioners
Other Government of Uganda Representatives/Heads of Institutions
Uganda Police Representatives
Representatives of Political Parties
Civil Society Representatives
Electoral Commission Staff
Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen
I welcome you all to this landmark event when the Electoral Commission is hosting a Symposium under the theme: Strengthening the Electoral Process in Uganda: Sharing Regional Electoral Experiences and Good Practices.
The Symposium is organised as a follow-up event in commemoration of the International Day of Democracy (IDD), which was marked on 15th September 2019. I wish to extend our gratitude to UNDP for the support in organizing this Symposium, which has brought together various stakeholders in the democracy and governance sector. We are here to reflect on strengthening electoral democracy in Uganda, to which we attach great important, given the central role of democratic elections in the governance of nations.
This Symposium has been designed to provide a highly interactive and cordial learning environment, and features a line up of more than a dozen experts in the field of elections, governance, security, media, planning and research. The solution-oriented presentations, discussions questions and case studies are designed to achieve a key learning objective, that is, to draw lessons from other countries on various aspects including challenges and opportunities aimed at achieving peaceful, transparent and credible electoral process.
As you are aware, the cornerstone to any democratic system is the conduct of regular free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections at all levels of governance. Accordingly, the Electoral Commission (EC) was established under Article 60 (Constitution, 1995) and mandated (Article 61) to organize, conduct and supervise regular free and fair elections and referenda in Uganda.
Since its establishment by the Constitution, the Commission has successfully organized and conducted five general elections (1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016) as well as two referenda on political systems (2000 and 2005), and several Parliamentary and Local Government Councils elections and by-elections. The Electoral Commission has already commenced on preparations for the 2020/2021 General Elections.
The Commission has been able to organize and conduct all the above electoral exercises, and the ongoing Roadmap for 2020/2021, with the support and participation of various stakeholders, many of whom are now gathered here.
On behalf of the Electoral Commission, I extend our appreciation to all our stakeholders, who include, among others, the Government of Uganda, development partners and the international community, security agencies, non-governmental and civil society organisations, political parties and organisations, the business community, religious leaders and organisations, and the media. And now, as critical stakeholders in the electoral process, we are all looking forward to an enriching Symposium, and to considering the recommendations and good practices for adoption in accordance with our respective institutional mandate.
As noted above, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has particularly been a dedicated partner in the effort to improve our delivery of electoral services. We are grateful to have UNDP as a partner in the organising of this Symposium.
We are also grateful to the resource persons drawn from far and near, who have readily agreed to share of their knowledge and experience with us as Electoral Commission, to enable us advance in the management and administration of elections in Uganda.
I thank you.
Mr. Sam A. Rwakoojo