Politics of Uganda

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Uganda is a presidential republic, in which the President of Uganda is both the head of state and head of government. There is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is given to both the government and the National Assembly. The system is based on a democratic parliamentary system with equal rights for all citizens over 18 years of age.

The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Uganda a "hybrid regime" in 2019.[1]

Political culture[edit]

In a measure ostensibly designed to reduce sectarian violence, political parties were restricted in their activities from 1986. In the non-party "Movement" system instituted by President Yoweri Museveni, political parties continued to exist but could not campaign in elections or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum canceled this 19-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005.

Presidential elections were held in February 2006. Museveni ran against several candidates, of whom the most prominent was the exiled Dr. Kizza Besigye. Museveni was declared the winner. Besigye alleged fraud, and rejected the result. The Supreme Court of Uganda ruled that the election was marred by intimidation, violence, voter disenfranchisement, and other irregularities. However, the Court voted 4-3 to uphold the results of the election.[2]


The structure of Uganda's government.
Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Yoweri Museveni National Resistance Movement 26 January 1986
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda National Resistance Movement 18 September 2014

The head of state in Uganda is the President, who is elected by a popular vote to a five-year term. This is currently Yoweri Museveni, who is also the head of the armed forces. The previous presidential elections were in February 2011, and in the election of February 2016, Museveni was elected with 68 percent of the vote. The cabinet is appointed by the president from among the elected legislators. The prime minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, assists the president in the supervision of the cabinet.

The Cabinet of Uganda, according to the Constitution of Uganda, "shall consist of the President, the Vice President and such number of Ministers as may appear to the President to be reasonably necessary for the efficient running of the State."[3][4]

Ministries of Uganda[edit]


Political parties and elections[edit]

On 4 May 2005, the Ugandan Parliament voted to conduct a referendum on the reintroduction of party politics in Uganda. The referendum was held on July 28, 2005, and Ugandans voted for a return to multi-party politics.

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)


The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of government and consists of magistrate's courts, high courts, courts of appeal (which organizes itself as the Constitutional Court of Uganda when hearing constitutional issues), and the Supreme Court. Judges for the High Court are appointed by the president; Judges for the Court of Appeal are appointed by the president and approved by the legislature.

Foreign relations[edit]

A fight between Ugandan and Libyan presidential guards sparked chaos during a ceremony attended by the heads of state from 11 African nations on March 19, 2008.[6]

International organization participation[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2019". Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Uganda's Museveni wins election", BBC, 25 February 2006
  3. ^ 1995 Constitution of Uganda (see page 83 of 192)
  4. ^ 2005 amended Constitution of Uganda (see page 100 of 231)
  5. ^ "Home - Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives". mtic.go.ug.
  6. ^ Ntale, Samson. "Guards for African leaders battle; dozen injured". edition.cnn.com.

External links[edit]