Local Council (Uganda)

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For other uses, see Local council (disambiguation).

A Local Council (LC) is a form of local elected government within the districts of Uganda. They were initially established as rebel support structures in the areas controlled by the National Resistance Army (NRA) of Yoweri Museveni. At this time, they were known as Resistance Councils (RCs) and proved effective in funneling food and supplies to the NRA combatants. Following the victory of the NRA and Museveni's taking of the presidential office in 1986, Resistance Councils were implemented in every district. After the first elections under Museveni in 1996, the Resistance Councils were renamed Local Councils.

Background[edit]

There are five levels of Local Councils. The lowest level is the Local Council I (LC 1 or LC I), and is responsible for a village or, in the case of towns or cities, a neighborhood. The area covered by Local Councils II through IV incorporate several of the next lowest level, while a Local Council V (LC5) is responsible for the entire district. In theory, a problem at a local level is relayed up through the various levels until it reaches an LC with sufficient authority or power to resolve it, while centrally planned directives are relayed downward until they are implemented at the local level. The LC system has been praised by some political analysts. The election of Resistance Council representatives was the first direct experience of many Ugandans with democracy after many decades of varying levels of authoritarianism and the replication of the structure up to the district level has been credited with helping even people at the local level understand the higher level political structures.

Each Local Council has a certain number of identical positions, such as Chairman, Vice-Chairman, etc. As each position must be filled for each of the five LC levels, it requires Ugandan citizens to make a large number of choices when filling out ballots. The Local Council does not transfer nationally. Instead, the national government appoints Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to represent its interests at the district level. The relative status of the LC5 Chairman and the RDC is sometimes hard to determine. Though they are theoretically supposed to work in concert, in practice they may conflict or one may have much more power in the district than the other.

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