January 26, 2016
By Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire
Republished from ThisisAfrica
Ugandans go to the polls on February 18, 2016 to decide who will lead the country for the next five years. TIA contributor, Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, asks whether this year’s poll is any different from previous elections.
Since the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Yoweri Kaguta took over power in 1986, Uganda has held four elections (1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011) and Museveni has emerged as the victor during each of those elections. Even before the new constitution was ushered in 1995, a year before the first election, Museveni had been running the country for close to a decade. It’s now been 30 years and in all that time Ugandans have had one man in the presidential seat.
The 1996 election was held under the individual merit Movement system (which later was described as a one-party state system by another name by the courts), but the results of that election were never challenged. In 2001, Kizza Besigye, hitherto a cadre of the Museveni-dominated Movement system contested for the top seat. He later challenged the results and the Supreme Court agreed that there were irregularities in the electoral process but could not annul the election.