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Polls: Uganda bans election monitoring group

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The authorities in Uganda have banned a coalition of more than 60 organizations formed to monitor the country’s 2021 general elections on grounds that it is illegal.

Uganda’s National Bureau for Non-governmental Organizations, which regulates the activities of non-profits organizations, said the National Election Watch was not registered.

It also said that some of the organizations under the group were neither registered nor had permits to operate in the country.

The bureau’s head, Stephen Okello, said the group should halt its activities with immediate effect, including issuing of statements.

Ugandans will vote in presidential and parliamentary elections in January 2021.

Action Aid International, Uganda, in a statement on its website, said the group was formed last month to promote electoral integrity, enhance citizen confidence and participation.

The Ugandan government has been critical of non-profit organizations, accusing some of them of promoting foreign interests and duplicating the work of government.

In 2017, police raided the offices of at least three such organizations, accusing them of involvement in illicit financial transactions and subversive activities to destabilize the country.

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