Which raises the question: “why observe?”.
“Uganda’s elections again fall short of democratic benchmarks” says the Commonwealth Observation Mission. In spite of my sarcasm about an observation being co-chaired by Kenya’s Moi-era Attorney General, the Commonwealth Mission was willing to issue a “preliminary report” laying out the deficiencies in the Museveni-controlled process:
2016 general elections were marked by a lack of a level electoral playing field, an increased prevalence of money in politics, alleged misuse of state resources, inequitable media coverage, and question marks over the secrecy of the ballot and the competence of the Electoral Commission to manage the process, according to an independent group of Commonwealth election observers.
The US State Department made similar comments without funding a formal international observation mission separate from the funding through NDI for the domestic observation group CEON-U which found “Uganda’s hope for free and fair elections dashed.”