UN chief calls for inclusive, transparent, peaceful elections in Uganda

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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday issued a call for an inclusive, transparent and peaceful election process across Uganda, a day ahead of opening of the polls.

With presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on Thursday, the UN chief raised concern over reports of violence and tensions in parts of the country and implored all political actors and their supporters to “refrain from the use of hate speech, intimidation and violence.”

“Any electoral disputes should be resolved through legal and peaceful means,” Guterres said in a statement.

The UN chief called on the Ugandan authorities, particularly the security forces, to “show maximum restraint during this period and act according to established human rights principles.”

He concluded by reiterating the UN’s commitment “to support the country’s efforts to promote sustainable development and build a prosperous future.”

One of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, Yoweri Museveni, is seeking his sixth term in office, and competing against 10 other candidates to retain the presidency, including popular singer Bobi Wine.

Last week, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, noted the “deteriorating human rights situation” ahead of Thursday’s vote, calling on the government to take measures to prevent electoral violence.

According to news reports, the European Union said on Tuesday that the electoral process had been seriously tarnished by the use of excessive force. Enditem

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