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Electoral Democracy Dies and Gets Buried in Uganda

It will go down the trenches of history as a day that electoral democracy was molested in broad daylight, defiled, raped, killed and her body mutilated and burned, and, her remains spread in the pathways of Uganda to be trampled upon by all the passers by. Elections in Uganda. In a bid to craft common shrewd language of not wanting to call them by what they real are - flawed elections, both IGAD and the EAC argued that elections in Uganda only "met the minimum standards of a free and fair elections." Whatever that means. The fact is that it is expressly difficult to term such elections democratic, credible, free and fair.  

In the elections that can hardly be put in the same sentence with credibility President Yoweri Museveni was declared winner effectively extending his 30-year rule for yet another five-year term. On their part the EU Observers argued that the Electoral Commission lacked the independence, transparency and trust of stakeholders. Social media was shut down, opposition leaders were harassed, arrested and voters were greatly intimidated in the run up to and during the voting. 

Without independence and transparency it obviously becomes highly problematic and doubtfully so that the Ugandan electoral body could deliver a credible poll.  Elections were bungled at every stage and level; the discrepancies are screaming; the irregularities are rampant; the inconsistencies are irreconcilable; the errors are gargantuan. It is not possible to argue that the electoral results reflect the will of the people of Uganda even though an assumption that they love their president so much was to be granted.

The level of irregularity attained in the just concluded Uganda elections may remain unrivalled for many years to come. As Observers search for diplomatic terms to express the rigging that happened in Uganda, some of us must have the courage to already call the elections what it was. Shambolic elections with perfect flaws, a case study of electoral malpractice or otherwise an electoral coup. 

These kinds of elections must not be tolerated in Africa if this continent is to make any known steps towards democratic maturity. Elections are a very expensive enterprise; their import must not be reduced into dramas only good for theatre halls. Drawing lessons from Uganda's just conclude flawed elections, Africa must be ready and willing to invest more in ensuring democratic, free, fair and credible elections. Without such endeavours the continent shall continue experiencing turmoil. The peoples of African nations have a higher responsibility to guard their political wishes and aspirations since the so called leaders have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to guarantee electoral credibility. The people's role extend to and include crafting frameworks that can help them, to in a civil way reject outcomes of rigged elections. The state and its organs especially the presidency and the security agencies must be thoroughly separated from that of institutions that are charged with the responsibility of managing elections. 

Electoral Democracy Dies and Gets Buried in Uganda Electoral Democracy Dies and Gets Buried in Uganda Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on February 21, 2016 Rating: 5

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