Page semi-protected

2021 Ugandan general election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2021 Ugandan general election

← 2016 14 January 2021 (2021-01-14) 2026 →
Turnout57.22% Decrease
  Yoweri Museveni September 2015.jpg Nalukoola talks with Bobi Wine (cropped).jpg
Nominee Yoweri Museveni Bobi Wine
Popular vote 5,851,037 3,475,298
Percentage 58.64% 34.83%

President before election

Yoweri Museveni

Elected President

Yoweri Museveni

Coat of arms of Uganda.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Flag of Uganda.svg Uganda portal

General elections were held in Uganda on 14 January 2021 to elect the President and the Parliament.[1][2] Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the country since 1986, won his sixth term amid election violence and allegations of fraud with 58.64% of the votes.[3] Voter turnout was 57%.[4]

Electoral system

The President of Uganda is elected using the two-round system, with candidates needing to receive at least 50% of the vote to be elected in the first round. Chapter 142 of the Presidential Elections Act of 2000 stipulates that presidential candidates must be a citizen of Uganda by birth and be qualified to be an MP.[5] Candidates are also required to be of sound mind and have no formal connection with the Electoral Commission of Uganda. Term limits were abolished in 2005.[6] The elections are supervised by the Electoral Commission of Uganda.[7]

The Parliament of Uganda has a total of 529 seats, including 353 representatives elected using first-past-the-post voting in single winner constituencies. Using the same method, 146 seats reserved for women are filled, with one seat per district. Finally, 30 seats are indirectly filled via special electoral colleges: 10 by the army, 5 by youths, 5 by elders, 5 by unions, and 5 by people with disabilities. In each of these groups, at least one woman must be elected (at least two for the army group).[8][9][10]

Presidential candidates

Eleven candidates were registered to contest in the election.[11]

  1. Yoweri Museveni, National Resistance Movement
  2. Bobi Wine, National Unity Platform
  3. John Katumba, Independent
  4. Willy Mayambala, Independent
  5. Fred Mwesigye, Independent
  6. Henry Tumukunde, Independent
  7. Joseph Kabuleta, Independent
  8. Nancy Kalembe, Independent
  9. Patrick Oboi Amuriat, Forum for Democratic Change
  10. Mugisha Muntu, Alliance for National Transformation
  11. Norbert Mao, Democratic Party


Campaigning was stopped in Mbarara, Kabarole, Luweero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo, Kampala City and Tororo on 26 December 2020. The government said it was to prevent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but critics said it was because of the popularity of the opposition in those areas. Crowds had previously been limited to 200 people.[12]


International observers

The European Union says it will not deploy observers (EOM—election observer mission) because previous recommendations have been ignored.[13]

On 13 January 2021, the United States cancelled its observation of Uganda’s presidential election saying the voting will lack transparency and accountability.[14]

Arrests of Bobi Wine

On 18 November 2020, opposition candidate Bobi Wine was arrested for allegedly violating COVID-19 protocols during his presidential campaign in Uganda. The National Unity Platform claimed that the continued arrests of its members were intended to stifle their ability to campaign rather than to follow COVID protocols. Supporters of Wine took to the streets of Kampala, clashing with security forces. This led to violent protests in which 100 people died and more than 500 were injured.[15][16]

Wine was arrested again on 30 December on Kalangala Island, where a rally he was holding was cut short by police. Police broke up the rally using tear gas and Wine was put under house arrest at his home in Kampala.[17][18] During his campaign, several aides, bodyguards and members of his entourage have been arrested, jailed and killed.[19]

Social media and internet block

On 13 January 2021, a day before the elections and a day after Facebook closed "fake" accounts it said were linked to the government, the communications regulator in Uganda ordered all telecoms firms to block access to social media and messaging apps in retaliation.[20] The Ugandan government denied the charges and accused Facebook of meddling in the election saying "I think they are playing the usual games, we know that they have a side in this election perhaps."[21]

At 5 pm on 13 January, the government ordered a complete internet shut-down, which came into effect at 7 pm. Amnesty International's deputy regional director condemned the move, saying that it was "clearly intended to silence the few accredited election observers, opposition politicians, human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and bloggers who are monitoring the elections".[22]

Allegations of fraud

On 15 January (the day after the election), Bobi Wine announced that Ugandan security forces had surrounded and breached his compound after he had alleged that the elections had been "marred by fraud and violence". Earlier in the day, partial results released by the Electoral Commission purported to show incumbent president Museveni leading Bobi Wine with over 62% of the vote to Wine's 29%.[23][24]



Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, chair of the Electoral Commission, declared Museveni the winner of the presidential election on 16 January, stating that he won 59% of the vote, with Wine taking 35%. Voter turnout was 57%. Byabakama said that it had been a peaceful election.[25] Speaking before the results were announced, Wine told reporters that it was "the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda" and also accused Museveni of putting him "under siege", as security forces surrounded his home.[26] Museveni denied these claims in a televised address after being proclaimed the winner, saying that the votes had been machine-counted and that it "may turn out to be the most cheating-free election since 1962".[26][25] Byabakama challenged Wine to provide evidence for his allegations of fraud.[25]

Yoweri MuseveniNational Resistance Movement5,851,03758.64
Bobi WineNational Unity Platform3,475,29834.83
Patrick Oboi AmuriatForum for Democratic Change323,5363.24
Mugisha MuntuAlliance for National Transformation65,3340.65
Norbert MaoDemocratic Party55,6650.56
Henry TumukundeIndependent50,1410.50
Joseph KabuletaIndependent44,3000.44
Nancy KalembeIndependent37,4690.38
John KatumbaIndependent35,9830.36
Fred MwesigyeIndependent24,6730.25
Willy MayambalaIndependent14,6570.15
Valid votes9,978,09396.32
Invalid/blank votes381,3863.68
Total votes10,359,479100.00
Registered voters/turnout18,103,60357.22
Source: Daily Monitor


Party Constituency Women Appointed Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
National Resistance Movement
National Unity Platform
Forum for Democratic Change
Democratic Party
Uganda People's Congress
Justice Forum
Conservative Party
Uganda Federal Alliance
People's Progressive Party
Forum for Integrity in Leadership
Social Democratic Party
Popular People's Democracy
People's Development Party
Liberal Democratic Transparency
Green Partisan Party
Uganda Economic Party
Uganda People's Defence Force 10 10 0
Total ' 100 353 ' 100 146 30 529 +103

International reactions

Tanzania's president John Magufuli congratulated Museveni on his reelection victory.[27] Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Museveni, and in a statement published as a Facebook post, termed President Yoweri Museveni’s re-election as a testimony of the confidence the people of Uganda have in his leadership. The post (specifically the part that mentioned Museveni having announced a cabinet shuffle) was flagged by Facebook and termed as "false information" and was subsequently deleted by the page administrators.[28][29] The same congratulatory message was published on State House Kenya's Twitter handle and subsequently deleted.[27] Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's Sovereignty Council and the nation's transitional head of state, also congratulated Museveni.[30]

The United States and European Union called for an investigation into abuses of power by the government and violence during the election. The United States Department of State also called on Ugandan authorities to investigate election "irregularities," while the EU Council of Ministers stated that "opposition candidates were harassed by security forces, the media was suppressed by the government, and observers' offices were raided."[31]


  1. ^ "Uganda to hold elections in early 2021, campaign rallies banned". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  2. ^ Biryabarema, Elias (2020-07-21). "Uganda's Museveni seeks re-election to extend rule to four decades". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  3. ^ Lawler, Dave (January 16, 2021). "Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud". Axios. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  4. ^ "Museveni declared winner of disputed Uganda presidential election". Al Jazeera English. January 16, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  5. ^ "Presidential Electons Act 2000 | Uganda Legal Information Institute". Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  6. ^ Goitom, Hanibal (2012-04-25). "Uganda: Proposal to Re-Introduce Presidential Term Limits | Global Legal Monitor". Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  7. ^ "IFES Election Guide | Elections: Uganda President 2016". Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  8. ^ "Constitution" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Electoral handbook" (PDF).
  10. ^ "IFES Election Guide | Elections: Uganda National Assembly 2021".
  11. ^ Presidential elections 2020/2021 Electoral Commission
  12. ^ "Uganda halts campaigning for January 14 vote in several districts". Al Jazeera English. December 26, 2020. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Biryabarema, Elias (November 16, 2020). "EU says won't monitor Uganda election, limiting poll's international scrutiny". Yahoo! News. Reuters. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  14. ^ "U.S. cancels its observation of Uganda's presidential election". Reuters. January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  15. ^ Athumani, Halima; Wroughton, Lesley. "37 dead in Uganda protests after arrest of presidential candidate Bobi Wine". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  16. ^ Ntale, Samson. "Protests after the arrest of Bobi Wine, Ugandan presidential candidate". CNN. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  17. ^ "Uganda police arrest Bobi Wine, tear gas supporters". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  18. ^ Akinwotu, Emmanuel (2021-01-07). "Bobi Wine confronted by Ugandan police during appeal for ICC inquiry". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  19. ^ "Uganda's Bobi Wine says his bodyguard was 'deliberately' run over and killed". CNN. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  20. ^ "Uganda elections 2021: Social media blocked ahead of poll". BBC News. 2021-01-12. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  21. ^ "Uganda elections 2021: Facebook shuts government-linked accounts". January 11, 2021 – via
  22. ^ Kafeero, Stephen (14 January 2021). "Uganda has cut off its entire internet hours to its election polls opening". Quartz Africa.
  23. ^ Dahir, Abdi Latif (2021-01-15). "Ugandan Forces Surround Home of Leading Opposition Figure". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  24. ^ Athumani, Halima (15 January 2021). "Uganda Soldiers Enter Home of Opposition Leader After He Alleges Election Fraud | Voice of America – English". Voice of America. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  25. ^ a b c "Uganda: Veteran leader Yoweri Museveni declared election winner". BBC News. 16 January 2021.
  26. ^ a b Akinwotu, Emmanuel; Okiror, Samuel (16 January 2021). "Museveni declared election winner in Uganda as rival Bobi Wine alleges fraud". The Guardian.
  27. ^ a b "President Magufuli congratulates Museveni, Kenya's state house deletes message". The Citizen. 17 January 2021.
  28. ^ Macharia, Hunja (17 January 2021). "President Uhuru congratulates President Museveni on his re-election". Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
  29. ^ Ben-Hur, Judah. "Facebook flags Yoweri Museveni's congratulatory message from Uhuru Kenyatta". The Standard. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  30. ^ "Al-Burhan Congratulates Museveni". Sudan News Agency. 17 January 2021.
  31. ^ McSweeney, Eoin; Busari, Stephanie (21 January 2021). "EU and US call for probe into Uganda election violence as Bobi Wine remains under house arrest". CNN. Retrieved 2021-01-22.

External links