Uganda’s Elections

Last week Uganda voted in a presidential election. Officially, it was contested, though the opposition leader quickly ended up in jail. Unofficially, everyone knew the result was preordained, and sure enough, President Museveni was re-elected, thus extending his current 30 years in power.

Given how this politician started out in Ugandan politics, this extension of power (which may continue further than this new term if he changes the constitution, again) is particularly ironic. He may try to preserve it even after his eventual resignation and/or death, by grooming his wife for power. The role of the Ugandan military, which has historically received a lot of US financing and training, will be very interesting to watch as the succession process begins to play out. In fact, the battle for who comes next may have already started, both within and without the main party, which is an interesting difference from other African dictatorial systems in which there are barely opposition parties, much less internal candidates for succession.

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