Elections in Uganda

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Uganda provides national elections for a president and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term. The Parliament is composed of members directly elected to represent constituencies, and one woman representative for every district; as well representatives of special interest groups, including the army, youth, workers and persons with disabilities.


The first national election in Uganda was the Uganda National Assembly election of 1962. An alliance between the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka (KY) won the majority of parliamentary seats, and formed Uganda's first post-independence government with Obote as executive Prime Minister.[1]

A period of dictatorship and political strife, including the tenures of Idi Amin, Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Binaisa, meant no elections were held until the presidential election of December 1980. Obote was pronounced the winner amid bitter dispute and allegations of electoral fraud. Yoweri Museveni, one of the presidential aspirants, declared an armed rebellion, and waged a guerrilla war (the Ugandan Bush War) against the government of Obote. Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA) took power in 1986 from the government of Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa who had six months earlier toppled Obote's UPC government in a July 27, 1985 military coup, making him President.

Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) created a form of "no-party democracy", banning political parties from fielding candidates directly in elections.[2] In the "no-party" presidential election in 1996, Museveni defeated Paul Ssemogerere and Mohamed Mayanja by a landslide. Although international and domestic observers described the vote as valid, both the losing candidates rejected the results.[2] In the following presidential election, held in 2001, Museveni won by a substantial majority, with Kizza Besigye as the only real challenger. Despite a protest against the results, citing massive voter intimidation and rigging, the outcome was accepted by the Supreme Court of Uganda.

In the 2005 constitutional referendum, Ugandans voted to restore a multi-party political system, lifting the 19-year restriction on the activities of political parties. The 2006 general election was the first multiparty election in 25 years. Museveni won 59% of the presidential vote, and his party, the National Resistance Movement, won the majority of parliamentary seats.

Latest elections (February 2006)[edit]

e • d Summary of the 23 February 2006 Ugandan presidential election results
Candidates - nominating parties Votes %
Yoweri Museveni - National Resistance Movement 4,109,449 59.26
Kizza Besigye - Forum for Democratic Change 2,592,954 37.39
John Ssebaana Kizito - Democratic Party 109,583 1.58
Abed Bwanika - Independent 65,874 0.95
Miria Obote - Uganda People's Congress 57,071 0.82
Total 6,934,931 100.00
Source: New Vision newspaper, Electoral Commission of Uganda

e • d Summary of the 23 February 2006 National Assembly of Uganda election results
Parties Votes % Constituency
woman reps.
National Resistance Movement 142 49 14 205
Forum for Democratic Change 27 10 - 37
Uganda People's Congress 9 - - 9
Democratic Party 8 - - 8
Conservative Party 1 - - 1
Justice Forum 1 - - 1
Independents 26 10 1 37
Vacant 1 - - 1
Uganda People's Defence Force Representatives 10
Ex-officio members 10
Total (turnout 72 %) 215 69 15 319
Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union

Note on the Distribution of seats:
Constituency seats refers to directly elected constituency representatives (215)
District Woman Reps. refers to directly elected District Woman Representatives (69)
Indirect seats include: Representatives of the Youth (5), Representatives of Persons with Disabilities (5), and Representatives of Workers (5)

Past elections[edit]

General elections December 1980[edit]

Party Seats
Uganda People's Congress 73
Democratic Party 52
Uganda Patriotic Movement 1
Conservative Party 0
Total seats 126
Source: Uganda, 1979-85: Leadership in Transition (1988), Jimmy K. Tindigarukayo

Presidential elections 1996[edit]

Candidate Percentage
Yoweri Museveni 75.5%
Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere 22.3%
Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja 2.2%
Turnout 72.6%
Source: The Electoral Commission of Uganda: Presidential Elections Results 1996

Presidential elections 2001[edit]

Candidate Number of votes Percentage
Yoweri Museveni 5,123,360 69.4%
Kizza Besigye 2,055,795 27.7%
Aggrey Awori 103,915 1.4%
Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja 73,790 1.0%
Francis Bwengye 22,751 0.3%
Karuhanga Chapaa 10,080 0.1%
Turnout 7,511,606 69.7%
Source: The Electoral Commission of Uganda: Uganda Presidential Elections March 2001

Multiparty referendum 2005[edit]

"Do you agree to open up the political space to allow those who wish to join different organisations/ parties to do so to compete for political power?"

Option Number of votes Percentage
Yes 3,643,223 92.4%
No 297,865 7.6%
Turnout 3,941,088 47.3%
Source: The Electoral Commission of Uganda

Source: [ Uganda Electoral Commission ]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of Parliament (Website of the Parliament of Uganda)
  2. ^ a b Nelson Kasfir (1998). ""No-Party Democracy" in Uganda". Journal of Democracy. 9 (2): 49–63. doi:10.1353/jod.1998.0029. 

External links[edit]