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Uganda Geared For A Nine-Month Election Marathon

Friday, 10th July 2020


True to the national objectives and directive principles of state policy, Uganda is once again on the campaign trail to elect her leaders at presidential, parliamentary and district levels. According to the Uganda Electoral Commission, the 2020/21 election processes should have started about two weeks ago, on 22nd June; and are due to end in early February, 2021. This nine-month election period is given for internal party elections, for resignations of civil servants who wish to enter the political arena, for nominations at all contested levels and for the final campaign and casting of votes. The elections will draw the participation of all citizens; with contested positions open to those who have the requisite qualifications. The competition for these positions is carried out within the framework of parties; of which Uganda is richly endowed.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) the current ruling party, is also the largest party in Uganda in terms of membership and geographical spread. It commands the majority in the current Parliament and at all levels of district governance. But in line with the open democratic dispensation which is characteristic of Uganda, there is an array of parties, old and new,some warming up and others lined up to challenge the NRM at all levels. Among the old parties warming their heels for the race are the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) led by Akena Obote, currently member of parliament for Lira Municipality. The party has had its internal wrangles but the Akena faction seems to have prevailed; launching him into the race for the presidency. The Democratic Party (DP) is another of the pre- independence parties; and similar to UPC in internal wrangles, the party has Norbert Mao as the current face to its run for the presidency.

Among the new generation parties born during the NRM governance period are the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) and, the youngest of all, the People Power Movement (PPM).

All party activity as well as the electoral process,is managed by an NRM government which respects the constitutional rights of Ugandans to have access to all leadership positions; and to elect governments of their choice. Currently the NRM and its challengers are jointly struggling against the dilemma of running electoral campaigns under the COVID-19 standard operations procedure.