Commonwealth Election Reports

2310-1512 (online)
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Commonwealth Election Reports, the reports of Commonwealth Observer Groups, Missions or Expert Teams, are independently prepared by the team members as a contribution to the democracy and consensus-building in Commonwealth countries.
Uganda Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, 18 February 2011

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Commonwealth Observer Group
15 Apr 2011
9781848591097 (PDF)

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The Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group for the Uganda Parliamentary and Presidential elections. The Group was led by Dame Billie Miller, former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, and comprised thirteen eminent persons in total.

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  • Mark Click to Access
  • Letter of Transmittal
  • Introduction

    At the invitation of the Government of Uganda, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr Kamalesh Sharma, constituted an Observer Group for the 18 February, 2011 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. In line with usual practice, the Secretary-General sent an Assessment Mission to Uganda to assess the prevailing situation as well as the pre-electoral environment, prior to his final decision on whether to constitute a Commonwealth Observer Group. The Assessment Mission was in the country from 10-15 December, 2010.

  • Political Background

    Uganda attained self-government in 1958. In 1961 a general election returned the Democratic Party of Benedicto Kiwanuka, who became the first Prime Minister in 1962. The general election of April 1962 returned Milton Obote’s Uganda People’s Congress. Uganda became independent on 9 October 1962 under a Constitution that safeguarded the autonomy of Buganda and the other kingdoms, and joined the Commonwealth. An alliance between the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka (KY) parties won the majority of parliamentary seats and Milton Obote became the executive Prime Minister. Through the UPC-KY coalition, Kabaka Edward Mutesa II became the first ceremonial President in 1963, when Uganda became a republic.

  • The Electoral Framework and Election Administration

    Uganda is a republic with separation of powers and a multi-party parliamentary system. Executive power is vested in the President, who is the Head of State and Head of Government, as well as the Commander-in-Chief. The President appoints the Vice-President and the Prime Minister.

  • Election Campaign and Media

    In accordance with the Campaign Guidelines for Presidential Candidates, issued by the Electoral Commission on 25 October 2010, official campaigns for presidential candidates commenced on 28 October and those for parliamentary candidates started on 16 December 2010. The presidential and parliamentary campaigns concluded at 1800 hours on 16 February 2011. They were governed by prescribed legislation.

  • Voting, Counting and Results

    On Friday, 18 February 2011, Presidential and Parliamentary elections were held in Uganda. There were 23,968 polling stations set up in the 112 districts of the country. At many places, clusters of polling stations were set up within the same area, often a school ground or an open space, and designated as Polling Centres.

  • Conclusions and Recommendations

    The 18 February 2011 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Uganda were the country’s second multi-party elections and it is clear that in some respects the country is still in the process of consolidating its multi-party political system. There was a largely peaceful campaign and a reasonably calm Election Day in most areas but this was regrettably marred by localised incidents of violence and poor management by the Electoral Commission. Some serious concerns remain. Of particular note are the overwhelming lack of a level playing field and the “commercialisation of politics”. As a result, the 2011 elections in Uganda did not fully meet national, regional and international standards for democratic elections.

  • Biographies of COG Members
  • COG Deployment Plan
  • Arrival Statement
  • Interim Statement
  • Add to Marked List