Church offers guidance on elections
SOURCE: The Monitor
Catholic bishops in a June 11 letter to the nation raised concerns over the preparations for next year’s elections and offered guidance on how to maintain peace and conduct free and fair elections. We bring you an abridged version of the epistle.
We, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda, write this letter out of good will and commitment to ensuring a peaceful and harmonious existence of our mother country Uganda and all people of God who dwell in it.
write with passion and deep concern that the road towards the 2011
general elections is creating a lot of anxiety, doubts, fear and moments
of hopelessness among the people of God.
We, therefore, call upon everyone to take
on the responsibility of ensuring that the 2011 general elections are
another stage in the country’s move towards a true electoral democracy
We should not wait to enter into the resolving of conflict but rather prevent it thereby minimizing pain, division and social strife. Such conflict prevention is possible, timely and can be successful.
must all remember how easy it is to destroy peace but how restoring
tranquility is a difficult and arduous process. This Pastoral Letter is
therefore, a call to all to be responsible citizens.
Elections by their nature should and must provide our electorate with regular opportunities to peacefully comment, challenge, change and review their government. This, in our view, can deter sociopolitical turmoil by controlling and making regular the struggle for power which has always been identified with our history. Therefore, at this moment when the whole country is preparing for general elections in 2011, we religious leaders cannot ignore Uganda’s problems of tyranny, war, violence and fraud.
The question of a free and democratic electoral process is inescapable from the agenda of the Catholic Church at this time as we together pursue the consolidation of democracy in our country.
The Purpose of this Letter
The letter should be available to all so that each category of people may find the guidance that the Catholic Church intends to offer to the electorate irrespective of one’s political inclinations.
to use this Letter
This Letter can serve as a reference point for clergy as they seek to understand the issues that will shape the electoral process and in turn, will be key factors in whether the outcome will be peaceful or violence ridden.
we ask all pastoral workers to keep in mind the following guidelines:
They should summarise the main points to give to the public on Sunday celebrations;
Choose those issues that are more relevant to your specific situation and present them in a more detailed way;
Use the letter as a useful instrument to educate the people to develop their social and political awareness as active members in the development of Ugandan society.
Historical Challenges in the Electoral
processes in Uganda have been fraught with difficulty.
URL Address: http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Elections/-/859108/997116/-/anlfv7z/-/index.html