NIMD statement on the elections in Uganda and the way forward

The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy Uganda (NIMD Uganda), a key partner to Ugandan political parties and host of the secretariat of the Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD), notes with deep concern the high level of tension and anxiety in Uganda following the presidential elections of 14 January 2021.

Even if election day itself and the various other polling days during this election period have been marked by a largely peaceful atmosphere, the campaign season was characterized by the worst political violence in recent times. The run-up to the elections also saw the disruption of opposition campaign activities and repeated arrests of opposition figures.

In addition, several presidential candidates contest the results of the presidential elections. As a result of this situation, tensions are still running high within Uganda.

As a key partner of Ugandan political parties who has actively encouraged and facilitated the interparty dialogue under the auspices of IPOD, we call on all Uganda’s parties to de-escalate the tension and anxiety that prevail in the country, in the interest of the population.

Specifically, we call on all political parties to show each other respect and acknowledge each other as legitimate political competitors.

To build their foundation of respect, they must work together to peacefully resolve the current impasse.

We believe that it is in times like this that the much cherished motto of IPOD, which calls upon all its members to “put Uganda first”, becomes very relevant. If the country’s political parties take this step, they will show citizens that it is possible to work together to find solutions that will benefit the population as a whole.

Working across party lines to de-escalate the current tension will set the positive tone for a long-term dialogue based on trust and respect. We invite IPOD to set new parameters for a more fruitful and meaningful dialogue. This will be an important step in shaping the future trajectory of Uganda’s politics.