House of Lords written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Lord Chidgey Lord Chidgey Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they are providing to the government of Uganda to encourage free and fair elections in Uganda in 2011.

Photo of Baroness Verma Baroness Verma Lords Spokesperson (Home Office) (Equalities and Women's Issues), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

The Government of Uganda have made some progress in improving the framework for their next elections in 2011, partly in response to the recommendations of the observation missions to the 2006 elections. These include amendments to electoral legislation and update of the voter register. The UK Government do, however, retain concerns about the evenness of the playing field between government and opposition, and challenges to freedom of expression and assembly. It will be particularly important to the prospects for free, fair and peaceful elections in 2011 that Uganda's electoral commission and the Ugandan police force demonstrate their independence and competence during the campaign period and in the organisation of the polls.

We are providing a range of assistance to encourage free and fair elections in Uganda. including technical support to the electoral commission through a deepening democracy programme. Some of this support includes civic and voter education, procurement of an electronic results transmission and dissemination system, and the provision of training for returning officers. We will also continue to raise the importance of free, fair and peaceful elections with the Ugandan authorities and Uganda's political leaders.

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