Leap of faith? Uganda’s coming transition


Since obtaining political independence from Britain in October 1962, Uganda has never experienced a peaceful transfer of power from one president to another. Military coups and violent takeovers have been the dominant mode of change. All previous attempts at peaceful transition, including the administration established after the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979 and the Constitutional Assembly of 1994, have been fraught with manipulation and protection of self-interest, rather than providing for the public good. The current president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has been Uganda’s leader since 1986, having taken power following a devastating, five-year guerrilla war.

Today, Uganda is at a critical juncture—a Constitutional provision on presidential age-limits bars Museveni from running for the presidency in 2021. Is Uganda coming to the end of an era, or will the constitution be amended to give Museveni an opportunity to continue his rule, making him the longest serving president in Africa?

In a forthcoming presentation at the National Endowment for Democracy, Arthur Larok, country director of ActionAid Uganda, will discuss the prospects for political transition in Uganda. He will also provide recommendations for civil society and political actors both domestically and among Uganda’s allies abroad. His presentation will be followed by comments by Thomas CarothersCarnegie Endowment for International Peace. Moderated by Sally Blair, International Forum for Democratic Studies.

July 11, 2017. 03:00 pm – 04:30 pm



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