Electoral-related violence is possible in Uganda during the parliamentary by-election slated for Wednesday, August 15. Incidents of pre-election violence occurred on Monday, August 13, in which police killed one person and arrested three opposition lawmakers and dozens of others in Arua (Northern region) after demonstrators threw stones at President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected around polling places and political demonstrations. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The incident comes after the Constitutional Court in Mbale, located east of the capital Kampala, ruled in favor of lifting presidential age limits on July 26, thus allowing President Yoweri Museveni to run for a sixth term in 2021. Parliament approved the constitutional amendment to remove the age limits in December 2017, which was legally challenged by opposition members. Under former laws, the president must have been under the age of 75 on election day. Museveni will be 77 by the time of the next vote. He has been in power since 1986.
Numerous protests denouncing the amendment took place between September and January, especially in Kampala – the site of related clashes with between demonstrators and security forces.
Individuals in Uganda are advised to monitor sociopolitical developments, avoid demonstrations and polling places as a precaution, and adhere to all local regulations.
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