The European Union (EU) Parliament has passed a resolution denouncing Uganda’s January 14 elections as “neither democratic nor transparent.”
This is part of the three resolutions that European Parliament adopted taking stock of the human rights situation in Uganda, Rwanda and Kazakhstan.
“Parliament deplores that the January 14 general elections in Uganda were neither democratic nor transparent. MEPs also condemn the excessive use of force by the police and armed forces during the election and their growing interference in political affairs,” reads a statement by the Parliament’s press office.
President Yoweri Museveni won the election with 58 percent of the vote while his main challenger, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu got 35 percent – a result he is challenging before the Supreme Court.
The European Parliament called on the Ugandan government to “end the repression of the opposition and civil society.”
The resolution condemns the violence, continued harassment and systematic crackdown faced by political opposition leaders in Uganda, as well as the suppression of civil society.
“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,” the EU EU Parliamentarians demanded.
The Parliament also resolved that sanctions against individuals and organisations responsible for human rights violations in Uganda must be adopted under the new EU human rights sanction mechanism, the so-called EU Magnitsky Act.
A total of 632 Parliamentarians voted in favour of the resolution,15 against and 48 abstained.
The development comes at a time when the Ugandan government is threatening to suspend activities of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) – the biggest single donor basket facilitated by EU member states.