Country Report Uganda March 2011

Outlook for 2011-12: Political stability

The president, Yoweri Museveni, and his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party strengthened their grip on power in February, winning an overwhelming victory in the presidential and parliamentary elections, and they are unlikely to face a serious challenge to their authority during the forecast period. In the two years prior to the elections regional pressures had been building, particularly in Buganda, an area with a constitutional monarchy and a local parliament. Mr Museveni successfully placated local sentiment by promising to devolve some powers to the regional level while maintaining control of the most important matters at the central government level. The issue of federo (an independent Buganda within a federal Uganda) will continue to arise from time to time but is unlikely to pose a threat to wider stability in the medium term.

In contrast to unrest in North Africa, Uganda is likely to remain politically stable over the forecast period, helped by improved economic circumstances. Inflation fell sharply in 2010, improving the purchasing power of households, and economic growth looks set to remain robust. Reforms in local government will appease some of those looking for the devolution of power. Elections in February passed relatively peacefully, and although there may be some scattered incidents of civil unrest in 2011-12, Mr Museveni has total control of the Ugandan army and has strengthened his grip on the police force, which makes wider political instability unlikely.

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