The European Parliament has adopted with an overwhelming majority, a resolution that viciously criticizes the manner in which Uganda held its recent presidential and Parliamentary elections.
The resolution adopted by 632 MEPs with 15 voting against and 48 abstaining, says the just concluded presidential elections were characterized with glaring irregularities and were therefore undemocratic and unfair.
In a statement titled: Political situation in Uganda: European Parliament resolution of 11 February 2021 on the political situation in Uganda 2021/2545(RSP) the EU Parliament states that:
“On January 14 Ugandan voters went to the polls to elect a president and members of parliament amid huge reports of irregularities and that resulted into Museveni being declared winner with 59%, results of the election were hard to verify because they didn’t follow the prescribed tallying process.”
EU parliament further states that the excessive use of force by security forces in the run up to the polls that targeted opposition members, Civil society players, journalists seriously tarnished the electoral process.
The EU legislative body further states that the presidential campaigns were hugely militarized and characterized with violence and persecution of the opposition candidates including being arrested, their vehicles shot at and supporters killed or arrested.
The EU also states that the COVID 19 standard operating procedures were used as a pretext for suppress opposition by restricting their rallies, arresting and brutalizing their supporters.
As a result, the EU Parliament has urged member counties to raise concerns through diplomatic channels, and calls for tough sanctions to be brought against individuals and Organizations responsible for human rights violations.
The EU resolution however expresses support and willingness to engage with Ugandan authorities to assist with ‘the much-needed implementation of democratic reforms to introduce rule of law.
The EU Parliament wants the Commission, which in the body that takes binding actions regarding foreign policy, to take advantage of its aid to force Ugandan authorities to enhance the promotion of human rights observance.
It has asked Ugandan authorities to immediately release political prisoners.
“All those arrested and detained for participating in peaceful political assemblies or for exercising their right to freedom of expression and association must be released immediately and unconditionally and have their charges dropped,” says the text.