In support of democracy in Uganda

22 February 2016

In support of democracy in Uganda

In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace.

Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region. In some cases this has led to open conflicts, or at the very least to a culture of political stagnation, despite the growing collective consciousness that democracy is the only way forward.

The presidential election held in Uganda this past weekend which retained Yoweri Museveni in power is unfortunately an example of those negative cases. Elections in which opposition candidates are oppressed, social media is shut down, the main contender from the opposition is arrested several times during the campaign and the electoral process is flawed with disruptions and irregularities, cannot and should not be accepted. Added to that, Uganda has for some years now, been managed by Museveni as if it were his private domain.

Uganda has definitely joined the list of countries in Africa where there exists a greater contrast with those that, despite a troubled history of colonisation and unfair economic international relations, have managed to achieve multiple democratic gains in current political developments in Africa. Definitely, people throughout the continent, as other members of the international community, should stand up today for the rights of the Ugandan people. We in the Socialist International are firmly on their side.