You should use the following sample letter to contact your MP or senator about the rigged elections in Uganda for the Uganda communities in Diaspora. Our efforts, along with those of many other organizations and individuals, will hopefully be rewarded when the international community forces president Museveni to make some political changes as soon as possible.
You will need to customize your own letter to provide information about your issue and what actions you would like the representative to take, but this letter provides a sample of the format and the tone that can be used. If you are sending the letter on behalf of an organization, please use your letterhead.
Member of Parliament
(City, Town) (Postal Code)
(Mr. Ms. Mrs.) (Surname)
Subject: Large scale rigging in the 2016 Uganda Elections
I am writing as one of your constituents to express my concerns over the 2016 Uganda elections and to ask for your help. Amid violence and vote-rigging complaints, President Museveni was declared the winner of the elections.
Various newspapers have carried reports that corroborated the points that the election observers made after the elections. These independent media reports established that:
1. One of the presidential candidates, Dr.Kiiza Besigye, was arrested several times before the voting and on the voting day. He has been arrested nine times and kept under house arrest after the elections;
2. A series of reports showed that opposition polling agents were chased away from some polling stations by the soldiers and a partisan police force that works for the incumbent rather than the Ugandan people;
3. Some voters in the areas of Kampala and Wakiso reported that they were not allowed to vote due the delay in the delivery of voting materials;
4. Some villagers admitted that it was decided through ‘consensus’ as to which candidate should be voted for and the number of votes that would be allotted to other candidates; and
5. Areas with abnormally high voter turn-up some with 100% participation were concentrated in Kiruhura, western Uganda and several rural areas where there was ballot stuffing. Coincidentally, Yoweri Museveni won at all those polling stations.
You would agree that all this constitutes prima facie evidence to back our demand for an independent international probe into this matter. Ugandans have lost confidence in the independence and integrity of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Uganda. The current EC serves only the interests of the Museveni government and his NRM party in maintaining their monopoly on Uganda politics. My particular concern is that the Commission’s apparent neglect of obvious irregularities brought to its attention by the opposition even before the elections were held on 18th Feb 2016, and this has affected the Commission’s reputation. Moreover, these problems of Uganda democracy—including rising disenchantment, army involvement in politics and declining voter participation—are increasingly shaping the way the rest of the world perceives Uganda, eroding the prestige of the country and its capacity for moral leadership in the East African Community.
There is now a petition in court filed by one of the presidential candidates, Mr.Amama Mbabazi, on 28 grounds to annul the elections , but Ugandans don’t expect much to come out of that judicial process, as was the case after the 2001 and 2006 elections. In both cases the court found that indeed the elections had been rigged but did not go as far as annulling the result.
As an influential person, you could ignore this complaint and wait for the ensuing legal process to play out. We think that would be a missed opportunity and an unfortunate mistake. Instead, we urge you to use your influence to put pressure on the Uganda government in order to conduct and independent audit of the recently concluded elections followed by a new, free and fair election that is closely observed and monitored by the international community. I urge you to pay close attention to the overwhelming public dissatisfaction with Museveni’s government that has been in power since 1986.
I urge you and your fellow MPs to give serious consideration to the continued police harassment of the FDC candidate, Kizza Besigye. A lot of opposition supporters have also been arrested, and continue to be arrested, in different parts of the country, over politically motivated charges.
Your willingness to take action now will demonstrate your support for democracy in developing nations. We believe that free and fair competition under an independent EC would be enabling and will result in the election of a legitimate president.
It is certainly possible that President Museveni may again resist calls for an independent Electoral Commission and return of presidential term limits– or any similar fair and unbiased rule. However, we believe these risks pale in comparison to the opportunity to open up the political process and fundamentally improve the way we elect the President of Uganda.
Thank you for your commitment. I look forward to receiving a response from you.
(Phone Number if applicable)