CCEDU observed polling day activities in all the 223 polling stations, 69 parishes, and 16 Sub Counties that make up Nebbi District. The by-election attracted Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, Onyai Vicky Emmanuel; Independent Candidate, Othuba George; and National Resistance Movement Candidate, Urombi Emmanuel.
CCEDU’s Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the Nebbi District LCV By-election highlights the following:
The Electoral Commission dispatched polling materials to the 223 polling stations in the 16 sub counties between 4:00am and 6:30am, on 11th July 2019. Electoral materials arrived at over 90% of the polling stations before 7:00am (the official time to commence polling);
Polling in about 15% of the polling stations did not commence on time – because the mandatory five (5) voters to witness the opening of the polling were NOT present. Polling Officials at most polling stations were however present and in time to commence polling at 7:00am;
Polling officials including a Presiding Officer (1), Polling Assistants (2-3) and Polling Constable(s) (1-2) were present at each polling station throughout Nebbi District. Polling officials appeared knowledgeable about their role in election administration. At least 50% of the polling officials were female;
CCEDU noted that polling stations had presence of candidate agents (NRM, FDC and Independent). Each of the candidate’s agents had a copy of the voters’ register. Agents appeared to be vigilant and well trained about their roles;
CCEDU noted the minimal presence of uniformed security personnel during the by-election. The role of security on the polling day was largely limited to mobile patrolling in the 16 Sub Counties of Nebbi District. With specific regard to the polling day, the presence of security personnel was not of an intrusive nature across Nebbi District;
The CCEDU EOM noted the low voter participation throughout the polling day. At the commencement of the polling exercise, stakeholders informed the CCEDU EOM that most voters were participating in market days in Erusi, Parombo, Wadelay, Payani and Pakwach. The voter turnout however, remained low until the closure of the polls at 4:00pm;
Whereas there was tension reported in the Sub Counties of Parambo, Padwot, Akworo, Erusi and Jupangira which boarder with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), CCEDU EOM noted that polling in those areas proceeded without interruption or incidents. CCEDU could however not verify reports on non-citizens from DRC participating in the by-election;
Polling stations closed on time (4:00pm) without voters in the queue. Counting commenced immediately at all polling stations and was complete by 5:00pm in over 80% of the polling stations in Nebbi District;
CCEDU noted that in 93% of the polling stations, all candidates’ agents signed the Declaration of Results forms (Form DR) and the EC handed a copy of the same to the agents that were present during the counting exercise as procedurally required;
Upon completion of counting and declaration of results, polling materials were dispatched to the Nebbi District Tally Center. Materials were transported by vehicles of the Electoral Commission.
CCEDU wishes to congratulate the people of Nebbi on peacefully participating in the polling exercise. It is CCEDU’s hope that the transmission and tallying of results will be conducted transparently in order to instill confidence in the final election results.
CCEDU’s subsequent statement will focus on the results’ tallying process, results declaration and the post election environment. The CCEDU EOM to Nebbi District will also make specific recommendations based on the overall observations of the Mission.
This statement is issued on 11th July 2019, at 6:00PM under my hand below, as the Leader of the CCEDU Election Observation Mission to the Nebbi District By-election.