Uganda elections

SuperMatt

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I was listening to a story about the elections in Uganda. I see scary parallels with our own nation under Trump. Any elections experts have anything to say about those elections? Shutting off the internet, arresting the most popular candidate, using COVID as an excuse fo oppression, and using violence against opposition candidates!
 

lizkat

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I was listening to a story about the elections in Uganda. I see scary parallels with our own nation under Trump. Any elections experts have anything to say about those elections? Shutting off the internet, arresting the most popular candidate, using COVID as an excuse fo oppression, and using violence against opposition candidates!

One big problem this time is lack of international observers. Most withdrew after Uganda denied accreditation to all but a sprinkling of observers from the US and from a number of other countries and international entities.

The incumbent, Museveni, has been in power a long time... there's a lot of foreign aid goes to Uganda but a lot of it gets funneled as classified allocations to the prez and to the army. The oligarchs are on the side of the incumbent. Typical president for life playbook.

They have learned something from the 2016 elections.... besides shutting down social media again this time around, they also went after a specific list of VPNs, use of which arose after social media had stayed shut down for a few days after the 2016 elections.




The pieces below are paywalled but have a few free reads with a registration.


In 2018, Mr. Museveni signed a law that scrapped the presidential age limit of 75, a move that critics said allowed him to seek re-election this year. Opposition legislators and lawyers challenged the amendment, but the Supreme Court upheld it in 2019.



Mr Museveni is backed by the rich, who look to him to protect their interests. Many large firms are owned by foreigners or Ugandan Asians, grateful to the man who welcomed them back after their expulsion by the dictator Idi Amin. Critics say the tight nexus between politics, security and business is increasingly controlled by brokers from Mr Museveni’s ethnic group, especially his own family, who award contracts, control access and grab resources.


Some of this does sound familiar after four years of Trump...
 

Arkitect

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If Trump is at all aware of what is happening outside his shrinking support group he must be green with envy.

Ugandan opposition candidate Bobi Wine alleges Thursday's polls saw the worst vote-rigging in Uganda's history, and has said he had video evidence of fraud, though he has yet to share any evidence to back up his claims.

He declared the struggle is just beginning.

Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, says he'll address the press again in a few hours on the way forward.

Early results from the electoral commission give the incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni, a commanding lead of almost two-thirds of the votes so far counted.

The military have surrounded Bobi Wine’s house.

Vote counting in the Uganda vice-president's Bukoto county central constituency has been stopped after results from two polling stations were disputed.

Vice-President Edward Ssekandi was trailing in the preliminary results that had been tallied before counting stopped.
 

Scepticalscribe

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One big problem this time is lack of international observers. Most withdrew after Uganda denied accreditation to all but a sprinkling of observers from the US and from a number of other countries and international entities.

The incumbent, Museveni, has been in power a long time... there's a lot of foreign aid goes to Uganda but a lot of it gets funneled as classified allocations to the prez and to the army. The oligarchs are on the side of the incumbent. Typical president for life playbook.

They have learned something from the 2016 elections.... besides shutting down social media again this time around, they also went after a specific list of VPNs, use of which arose after social media had stayed shut down for a few days after the 2016 elections.




The pieces below are paywalled but have a few free reads with a registration.









Some of this does sound familiar after four years of Trump...

Excellent post.

Most (western) countries - becasue of Covid - have limited (if not suspended outright), their election observation activities, which are usually administered, recruited, and run by the foreign ministry of the country in question.

In my case, I haven't observed an election since 2019, - which is the first time in almost thirty years that I haven't travelled abroad over the course of a particular year. In fact, we haven't sent anyone abroad (on an international election observation mission) since last February.

Then, as @lizkat points out, there is the issue of accreditation to the host country (the country holding elections).

International election observers have to be invited - formally - to observe an election by the host country, if it is a functioning polity, they don't simply stroll in. Supervised elections - where you run the actual election alongside the relevant national, regional, and local authorities, are an entirely different mandate, an executive mandate, and usually occur only after complete state collapse.

Anyway, in my experience - such invitations are generally forthcoming (because such invitations are often tied to the disbursement of foreign aid - a sort of carrot and stick arrangement).

Under the cover of Covid, it is very easy for Uganda to deny accreditation, or set impossible conditions on issuing accreditation.

Even if accreditation is not refused outright, it is very easy to establish, or set, bureaucratic obstacles that are difficult to overcome (setting impossibly short deadlines for the submission of relevant paperwork, - such as passports, which are neither received nor returned in time; the fact that the relevant consulates or embassies - for issuing the relevant visas - may be open only one hour a week at the crack of dawn, etc).

I do know - because I was in that corner of the world at the time and keeping a very close eye on such matters - that Ugandans followed (not least those on our staff) - with rapt attention and a wistful longing - the fact that Kenya's supreme court had annulled the 2017 Kenyan presidential election on account of (genuine) irregularities - instructing the government to re-run the contest.

While the incumbent (Uhuru Kenyatta) won the re-run, at the time it was viewed (correctly) as a victory for the separation of powers and the rule of law.
 
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