Ugandan general election, 2011

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Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Uganda on 18 February 2011.[1]


Yoweri Museveni is a former guerilla commander who at the time had ruled Uganda for nearly 25 years. Kizza Besigye and Museveni faced each other for the third time after being formerly allies. Uganda was facing a potential oil shock, which served as economic political backing for some candidates.[2]


Eight candidates were running in the presidential election:[3]

In the parliamentary elections, the parties had the following number of candidates:

  • NRM: 364 candidates (with at least a contender for every constituency and several contestants for special interest groups)
  • FDC: 288 candidates
  • UPC: 135 candidates
  • DP: 120 candidates
  • UFA: 66 candidates
  • PPP: 33 candidates
  • PDP: 18 candidates


The electoral turnout was about 59 percent of the 14 million eligible voters.


In a first statement the chairman of Electoral Commission of Uganda, Badru Kiggundu, said that Museveni won with 68.38 percent of the votes and his main opponent Kizza Besigye got 26.01 percent. Norbert Mao came in third position having polled 147,708 votes. The other candidates' vote count was: Olara Otunnu of the Uganda People's Congress received 125,059 votes; Betty Olive Kamya of the Uganda Federal alliance got 52,782 votes; Abed Bwankia of the People's Development Party received 51,708 votes; Jaberi Bidandi Ssali of the People's Progressive Party got 34,688 votes and independent candidate Samuel Walter Lubega got 32,726 votes.

The four-party Inter-Party Cooperation chairman Kizza Besigye said before the results were announced that the opposition "categorically rejects the outcome of the elections." European Union observers said the election was "marred by avoidable and logistical failures, which led to an unacceptable number of Ugandan citizens being disenfranchised."[2]

e • d Summary of the 18 February 2011 Ugandan presidential election results
Candidates – Parties Votes %
Yoweri MuseveniNational Resistance Movement 5,428,368 68.38
Kizza BesigyeForum for Democratic Change 2,064,963 26.01
Norbert MaoDemocratic Party 147,917 1.86
Olara OtunnuUganda People's Congress 125,059 1.58
Beti KamyaUganda Federal Alliance 52,782 0.66
Abed BwanikaPeople's Development Party 51,708 0.65
Jaberi Bidandi SsaliPeople's Progress Party 34,688 0.44
Samuel Lubegaindependent 32,726 0.41
Valid votes 7,938,212 95.96
Invalid votes 334,548 4.04
Total votes (turnout: 59.29%) 8,272,760 100.00
Source: Electoral Commission of Uganda
e • d Summary of the 18 February 2011 National Assembly of Uganda election results
Parties Constituency
woman reps.
National Resistance Movement 164 86 13 263
Forum for Democratic Change 23 11 34
Democratic Party 11 1 12
Uganda People's Congress 7 3 10
Conservative Party 1 1
Justice Forum 1 1
Independents 30 11 2 43
Uganda People's Defence Force Representatives   10 10
Vacant 1   1
Total (turnout %) 238 112 25 375
Source: Electoral Commission of Uganda, African Elections Database

Note on the Distribution of seats:
Constituency seats refers to directly elected constituency representatives (237)
District Woman Reps. refers to directly elected District Woman Representatives (112)
Indirect seats include: UPDF Representatives (10), Representatives of the Youth (5), Representatives of Persons with Disabilities (5), and Representatives of Workers (5)


Besigye warned that Uganda was ripe for an Egypt-style revolt after Museveni's more than two decades in power.[4] However, the protesters failed to amass in large numbers because, as the Christian Science Monitor suggested, a failure to tally its own results through its own sms system was disrupted by the government, who also arrested hundreds of opposition field agents. They also suggested that Besigye did not believe his own claim of sparking a revolution. After losing out twice to Museveni – whose personal physician and loyal ally he once was – this third attempt seems to have shattered him.[5]


Further reading[edit]