OCTOBER 26, 2010: UJCC Calls for Peaceful Campaigns, Free And Fair Elections

UJCC Calls for Peaceful Campaigns, Free And Fair Elections

SOURCE: Catholic Information Service for Africa

Uganda Joint Christian council (UJCC) wishes to appeal to all Ugandans to observe peace throughout the election campaign period which will effectively kick off with the nomination of presidential candidates at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.

"The nomination exercise is very important. It should therefore be handled diligently and transparently by the Electoral Commission which has the mandate of ensuring free and fair elections in the country." UJCC said in a statement.

"In order to meet the above challenge, the Electoral Commission needs to urgently address the issue of publication of the national voters register which, as far as we are aware, had not been published by Friday, 22 October, 2010, following the voters register update and display exercises." UJCC added.

UJCC is of the view that the nomination exercise should be conducted in a manner that will build trust and give Ugandans confidence that the electoral contests in 2011 will be free and fair.

It called upon the Electoral Commission to take all reasonable measures to address the concerns of aspiring candidates whose submissions to the commission have so far been rejected.

"We are also constrained to point out that it is the duty of every Ugandan and all organs of State to contribute towards the attainment of free and fair elections.

The rising incidents of election-related tension, acrimonious exchanges and confrontations that have been witnessed in the past few days are a reminder of the need for a fully functional national consultative forum which is provided for under the Political Parties and Organisations Act.

If this body was in place and fully functional, some of the regrettable incidents, including the violent physical confrontations involving the leadership of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and the Police which occurred a few days ago within the vicinity of the Electoral Commission could have been avoided." UJCC went on to state.

"We would like to remind all Ugandans that it is the duty of every peace loving citizen to work for peace and stability and contribute towards the creation of an atmosphere that is conducive to holding free and fair elections in 2011.

We, therefore, call upon every Ugandan to try and put the interest of this country above all other considerations and work together for free, fair and peaceful elections, beginning with the nomination exercise," UJCC concluded.

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