February 20, 2016 / 11:26 AM / 2 years ago

EU criticizes Uganda poll, says electoral body lacks independence

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s presidential election was conducted in an intimidating atmosphere and the East African nation’s electoral commission is not independent, European Union observers said on Saturday, criticizing a poll the opposition has disputed.

A Ugandan soldier stands in front of a burned barricade during clashes in Kampala, Uganda February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

“The EC (electoral commission) lacks independence, transparency and the trust of stakeholders,” Eduard Kukan, chief observer for the EU mission, told reporters in Kampala.

He said the dominance of the political space by President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party “distorted the fairness of the campaign and state actors created an intimidating atmosphere for both voters and candidates”.

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; writing by Drazen Jorgic; editing by John Stonestreet

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