YOUTH FOR PEACEFUL ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN

Interparty Youth Statement denouncing violence during the 2016 General Elections

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Do young people have a voice in determining the peacefulness or violent tendencies of electoral democracy? Together with our partner, the Interparty Youth Platform (IYOP), we have been working tirelessly to ensure peaceful electoral processes in the buildup to the 2016 general elections. As such, we started a series of initiatives with the youth political wings of the various political parties in Uganda. The first initiative was holding a workshop to discuss the broad analytical and conceptual framework of electoral violence in the context of Africa.

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A senior member from NRM's Youth League making a plenary contribution

A senior member from NRM's Youth League making a plenary contribution

On the first day, young political leaders where trained on the history, causes and theories/practices of electoral peace and violence. The second event was a public dialogue on the following day in which youth political leaders conveyed a special message on electoral violence through a communiqué that was presented on behalf of the youth wings of the seven major political parties in Uganda.

Laying the workshop foundation, Mathias Kamp, the Country Representative of KAS reiterated the relevance of the IYOP and KAS relationship noting that the platform’s uniqueness and ability to bring young political leaders from across the political divide is a sign for a genuine democratic consolidation in Uganda. Donnas Ojok, the new programme officer facilitated the first session which explored some of the fundamental underpinnings of electoral violence. He expounded on the inter-linkages between democracy, peace and election maintaining electoral process offers the widest and best avenue to promote peace and democracy given the premium it places on popular participation.

Yusuf Kiranda, a good governance expert explored the role of youth in ensuring peace by first warning that in the instance of any electoral violence, there is no winner and every is a loser – but most importantly, the youth losses more than anyone else because violence destroys the future and young people are the future. But he also called upon major stakeholders especially the government to play a pivotal role in this peace process by putting in place and ensuring effective administrative and logistical arrangements at all stages of the electoral process. A special communiqué on peaceful elections was drafted and discussed by IYOP members during the workshop.

During the public dialogue held at Hotel Africana in which 150 youth from across the political spectrum attended, the panel-plenary conversation explored the perspectives of peace from all political parties through their youth representatives who were part of the panel. The most striking issue that emanated was the need and love for peace by all young people regardless of their political orientation. In fact, when during a plenary session, one participant started preaching the gospel of violence by pointing out that the current government can also be removed by barrel of the gun, he was booed and left frustrated by the audience. This showed how determined young political leaders are towards ensuring a peaceful electoral process.

The public dialogue was climaxed by a special reading of the IYOP Communique on Peaceful Elections.

Author

Donnas Ojok

Publication series

Event Reports

published

Uganda, February 4, 2016

Chairperson of the NRM Youth League signing the communique denouncing Electoral Violence
A participant contributing during a plenary session
Youth leaders from the various political parties in Uganda
A member of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)making a plenary contribution