On February 18, 2011, Ugandans went to the polls to elect their nation’s president and parliament. These elections represent the second time since 1986 that Uganda has elected its leaders under a multi-party political system.
The International Democrat Union The Presidential and Parliamentary Elections of February 2011 were by all standards not free and fair. Gunilla Carlsson, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, explained that the elections were not up to the standard that she had hoped for.
After lengthy periods of dictatorship and insecurity, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) took power after winning a guerrilla war, and instituted a new system of no-party democracy in 1986 under current President Yoweri Museveni.
A 2005 constitutional referendum restored a multi-party system, and in 2006 the leading opposition candidate won 37 percent of the vote. Whether opposition parties can improve on the gains they made in the 2006 presidential and parliamentary elections remains an unknown. Both the conduct and results of the upcoming elections will be an important marker for determining whether Uganda has continued to make progress in institutionalizing multi-party politics.