Country Report Uganda March 2010

The political scene: The by-election was marred by a shooting incident

Despite a lively and high-profile election campaign, the turnout at Mbale was less than 50%, possibly because the outcome held little practical significance for voters, with the general election so close. Apart from the result, the by-election also made news because of a shooting incident, in which a supporter of Mr Mutembe was wounded following a fracas involving the car he was travelling in and the bodyguards of an NRM junior minister in another car. The incident, which is being investigated, will have added to the concerns of donors, who will take a close interest in next year's polls. The head of the EU delegation in Uganda, Vincent Visscher, who is looking for "accountability, fairness and objectivity" in the coming elections, has already stated that the current level of preparedness is unsatisfactory. It may have been the shooting incident, therefore, that prompted an unusual display of graciousness from the NRM in congratulating the FDC on its victory.

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