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Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 18 February 2011
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
The February 2011 parliamentary and presidential elections were the second multi-party elections to be held in Uganda since 1986. Political party activities had been banned in 1986 following the introduction of a "no-party" system (known as "The Movement") by President Yoweri Museveni - a former guerrilla leader who come to power as head of the National Resistance Army earlier the same year. The multi-party system was re-introduced by a referendum in 2005, which also lifted the two-term presidential limit.

At stake in 2011 were 375 seats in parliament (up from 332), which comprise 237 directly elected seats (up from 215) and 112 seats reserved for women (up from 79). As in the 2006 elections, there were five additional representatives each for youth, the disabled and workers as well as 10 representatives of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF).

In the 2006 elections, President Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) won a total of 206 seats. The main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), led by Mr. Kizza Besigye, took 37 seats. The Democratic Party (DP) and the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) took nine and eight seats respectively. The Conservative Party (CP) and the Justice Forum of Uganda (JEEMA) won one seat each, while the remaining 37 seats went to independents.

In the presidential elections, President Museveni was re-elected with 59 per cent of the votes. His main rival, Mr. Besigye, who obtained 37 per cent of the votes, challenged the results. However, his petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court and Mr. Museveni was sworn in for a third term in May 2006.

In July 2008, the FDC, the CP, the JEEMA and the UPC formed the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC). In 2009, the IPC demanded, in a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi, that the UPDF representation in parliament be abolished, alleging that UPDF MPs supported the NRM.

Article 78 of the 1995 Constitution invests parliament with the power to review the representation of interest groups (see note 2). In October 2010, Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi ordered Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya to prepare the necessary motion. The latter subsequently submitted a motion to parliament to retain the seats of all the interest groups, including the 10 seats reserved for the UPDF. Despite the IPC petition, parliament voted on 10 November to retain all seats for the interest groups in the new legislature.

Prior to the 2011 elections, nearly 80 MPs changed political allegiances. On 1 February 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that, based on Article 83 (1) (g) and (h) of the Constitution, it is illegal for independent MPs to stand for elections on a party ticket and for party MPs to run as independents. The court ruled that independent MPs should vacate their seat before being nominated to contest elections on a political party ticket (see note 3). In all, 77 members were affected by the Constitutional Court's ruling.

On 11 February, Speaker Ssekandi directed the 77 MPs, whose term is due to end in May 2011, to vacate their seats immediately. The MPs were also required to refund the salary (about 13m shillings per month) they had received since their nomination as candidates in November 2010. On the same day, the Supreme Court granted an interim stay of execution of the Constitutional Court's ruling. If the Supreme Court upholds the Constitutional Court's ruling, the MPs concerned who won seats in 2011 will have their election nullified.

In 2011, 1,270 candidates were vying for the directly elected seats, while 443 were running for the special seats reserved for women. 18 candidates, including five incumbent MPs, were disqualified for failing to submit proper supporting documents.

The 2011 elections were held against a backdrop of protests in several African and Arab countries, which saw the removal of long-serving presidents in Tunisia and Egypt in January and February respectively. President Museveni - who has been in power since 1986 and was seeking a fourth consecutive term in 2011 - stated emphatically there would be no Egypt-like revolution in Uganda.

The NRM presented a manifesto entitled "Prosperity for all, better service delivery and job creation", pledging to transform Uganda from "a third world country to a modern one". President Museveni ran on the government's record, citing an average growth rate of 5 per cent since 2004 and progress in the fight against the Lord's Resistance Army's rebellion. He promised to develop the petroleum industry, and ensure environmental management and sustainable development. In February, he called for the creation of a political federation of the East African Community by 2012, underscoring that such a federation would be "the insurance policy of Africa's future".

The IPC campaigned under the slogan "Change is coming". It endorsed Mr. Besigye's candidature in the presidential polls, although the parties in the coalition fielded parliamentary candidates separately. In January, Mr. Besigye signed a commitment to implement the Citizens' Manifesto if he was elected President. The manifesto had been launched by the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform (UGMP), a grouping of 17 non-governmental organizations, amidst calls for constitutional review, reinstitution of presidential term limits and establishment of a credible national electoral commission (EC). Mr. Besigye called the 2011 elections "fundamentally flawed", criticizing the President's control of the electoral commission and the non-issuance of new identification cards which, in his view, was proof that the President would rig the vote.

In all, 59.29 per cent of the 13.9 million registered voters turned out at the polls. The government declared 17 February a public holiday and deployed thousands of security forces across the country.

The electoral commission introduced a computerized results-tallying system aimed at preventing fraud.

The European Union Election Observation Mission noted some improvements over the previous elections held in 2006 and stated that the election campaign and polling had been conducted in a peaceful manner. It nevertheless noted administrative and logistical failures that could have been avoided. The African Union observer mission said there was an urgent need to improve electoral laws before the next elections.

The NRM took a total of 250 seats: 165 of the 237 directly elected seats and 85 of the 112 seats reserved for women. The FDC came in a distant second, winning 23 directly elected seats and 11 of the seats reserved for women. The DP and the UPC took 12 and 10 seats respectively. The CP and the JEEMA won one seat each. The remainder went to 42 independent candidates. The First Lady, Janet Museveni, (NRM) was re-elected to parliament.

President Museveni was re-elected for a fourth term with over 68 per cent of the vote, with just over 26% for his main challenger, Mr. Besigye.

On 19 May, the newly elected parliament held its first session and elected Ms. Rebecca Kadaga (NRM) as its new Speaker.

Note 1:
In June 2010, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) joined the IPC. In August 2010, the IPC elected FDC leader Besigye as its new leader and presidential candidate for the 2011. UPC leader Olara Otunnu, who lost to Mr. Besigye in the IPC presidency, withdrew his party from IPC and announced that he would run for the 2011 presidential elections.

Note 2:
Article 78 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that Parliament shall review representation every five years "for the purposes of retaining, increasing or abolishing any such representation and any other matter incidental to it".

Note 3:
In all, nearly 50 independent members in the outgoing parliament were nominated as NRM candidates while 14 NRM MPs who had lost the party primaries became independents. Similarly, seven independent MPs were nominated as FDC candidates while three FDC MPs declared that they would run as independents. The ruling was the result of a suit filed by Mr. George Owor, who challenged the nomination of Mr. William Oketcho - who had joined the outgoing 8th Legislature as an independent - as NRM flag-bearer for West Budama North. Mr. Okecho subsequently filed an appeal with the Supreme Court for a stay of execution and for judicial review of the Constitutional Court's ruling.

According to Article 83 (1) of the Constitution, a member of Parliament shall vacate his or her seat in Parliament:
(g) if that person leaves the political party for which he or she stood as a candidate for election to Parliament to join another party or to remain in Parliament as an independent member;
(h) if, having been elected to Parliament as an independent candidate, that person joins a political party;
Link to the Constitution:
Voter turnout
Round no 118 February 2011
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
8'272'760 (59.29%)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
National Resistance Movement (NRM) 263
Independents 44
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) 34
Democratic Party (DP) 12
Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) 10
Uganda People's Congress (UPC) 10
Conservative Party (CP) 1
Justice Forum of Uganda (JEEMA) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Breakdown of the 131 seats won by women:
- Constituency Representatives: 11
- Women District Representatives: 112
- Youth Representatives: 2
- Representatives of disabled persons: 2
- Workers' Representatives: 2
- Representatives of the Uganda People's Defense Forces: 2
In addition to the 131 elected women, there were four women among the 11 ex-officio members as at 10 January 2012, bringing the total number of women to 135 of the full 386 members.

Parliament (22.03.2011, 20.05.2011, 24.05.2011, 10.01.2011)

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