Office of the Spokesperson
February 19, 2016
Secretary Kerry spoke over the phone today with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to underscore that Uganda’s progress depends on adherence to democratic principles in the ongoing election process and that the United States stands by the Ugandan people as they undertake this most essential democratic endeavor.
The Secretary expressed his concern about the detentions of opposition candidate Kizza Besigye and harassment of opposition party members during voting and tallying, and he urged President Museveni to rein in the police and security forces, noting that such action calls into question Uganda’s commitment to a transparent and credible election process free from intimidation.
Secretary Kerry also expressed concern about the Government of Uganda’s decision to block several popular social media and mobile money sites starting on Election Day, and he urged President Museveni to end this blockage immediately.
Finally, the Secretary noted the delay in the opening of many polling stations. Secretary Kerry said he was encouraged that the Electoral Commission is taking steps to extend polling for certain areas.