The United States applauds the people of Uganda for their participation in the February 18 presidential and parliamentary elections and congratulates President Yoweri Museveni on his reelection. The elections and campaign period were generally peaceful, but we note with concern the diversion of government resources for partisan campaigning and the heavy deployment of security forces on election day. We are also disappointed by the disorganization at polling stations and the absence of many registered voters’ names from the voter rolls, irregularities that could have been avoided by appointing an independent and more representative Electoral Commission.
Nevertheless, we urge all participants to abide by the official results, refrain from violence, and channel grievances through Uganda’s independent judiciary. Democracy requires commitment at all levels of government and society to the rule of law, freedom of speech and assembly, independent media, and active civil society. We urge the Ugandan government to undertake the electoral and administrative reforms that will substantially improve future elections and will strengthen the country’s commitment to multiparty democracy and human rights for the next generation of Ugandan citizens.