Commonwealth Secretariat

01/13/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/13/2021 08:24

Statement by the Commonwealth Secretary-General ahead of the 2021 General Elections in Uganda

Ahead of the 2021 General Elections in Uganda on 14 January, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, has called on all Ugandans, in particular political leaders, to uphold Uganda and the Commonwealth's shared values of peace, tolerance and inclusivity.

Speaking ahead of the elections the Commonwealth Secretary-General said:

'On behalf of the Commonwealth, I encourage all political parties, their supporters and security agencies to shun violence, to expend all efforts to promote peaceful participation in the democratic process, and to ensure that the rule of law, justice and accountability prevails.

'All citizens should be allowed to exercise their right to vote free from fear and intimidation, and in order to maintain the people of Uganda's confidence in democracy the principles of inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability should be respected and upheld, consistent with principles of the Commonwealth Charter.

'I have conveyed to the leadership of Uganda the Commonwealth family's deep concern about reports of constraints on freedom of assembly, intimidation, violence and election-related deaths in the country. And I wish to extend our sympathies to the victims and their families.

'I strongly urge that these allegations are expeditiously and transparently investigated and would also encourage that any disputes be resolved through peaceful means and the prescribed legal channels.'

The Secretary General added:

'Uganda is an important voice in the region and in the Commonwealth. When Uganda hosted the 2007 Kampala CHOGM, it led on the issuing of the Munyonyo Statement on Respect and Understanding, and the endorsement of the Commonwealth's 'Civil Paths to Peace' Report, which seeks to build tolerance, respect for diversity and inclusivity in society. [insert link]

'The Commonwealth has accompanied Uganda on its path of development and democracy since it joined in 1962. The Commonwealth family reaffirms its unwavering solidarity and support to all Ugandans and wishes the country peaceful and credible elections.'