EC ends 7-month suspension of CCEDU activities

The Electoral Commission (EC) has lifted its ban on the activities of Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), seven months after the electoral body suspended the NGO’s accreditation for election related activities.

The EC withdrew CCEDU’s accreditation in July last year after the electoral body accused the civil society organization of acting in a partisan manner in the past elections which contravened the provisions of Section 121(i) Electoral Commission Act (Cap 140).

In a press release issued today (Thursday), the EC chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama that the commission had decided to lift the suspension after both the EC and CCEDU undertook a commitment to be bound by recommendations of a joint committee which was set up in October last year to review and harmonise the two entities’ working relationship.

EC and CCEDU officials exchange pleasantries after the lifting of the ban on CCEDU activities

In a separate press statement, CCEDU coordinator Crispy Kaheru welcomed the EC’s decision to lift the ban.

“This is timely – especially considering that the roadmap to 2021 is out.  Now, CCEDU is going to re-engage and mobilize Ugandans to actively and meaningfully participate in the on-going and upcoming electoral activities such as demarcation of electoral areas, by-elections and the on-going citizen registration for national IDs at sub county level– countrywide. Of course CCEDU is also going to observe these electoral milestones carefully with a view of ensuring that we ultimately improve the credibility of elections in Uganda,” Kaheru said.

Some of the issues agreed upon between CCEDU and Electoral Commission include, streamlining communication around the elections that CCEDU observes to which  the EC made a commitment to develop guidelines on use of new media in elections for election observers.

The two entities have also agreed that for each election, CCEDU will have a robust leadership structure for election observers that includes a Head of Mission, who will communicate the observations in a timely manner to the relevant stakeholders.