Giovanni M. Carbone,
"Political Parties in a 'No-Party Democracy': Hegemony and
Opposition Under 'Movement Democracy' in Uganda," Party
Politics, 9 (July 2003), 485-501.
In January 1986, Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance
Movement (NRM) finally took power in Uganda and formally
established what it claimed was a new type of democracy,
which soon came to be known as movement' or 'no-party'
democracy. During a five-year civil war aimed at ousting
President Milton Obote, Museveni had restored
community-level political participation in the areas under
NRM control. With the end of the war, the holding of local
elections was extended to the whole country and regularized,
soon becoming the platform for an indirectly elected
national lelgislature. Then, direct elections for a
Constituent Assembly took place in 1994 and, under the new
constitution, presidential and partliamentary elections
followed in 1996 and, again, in 2001.
The 2001 elections were formally held on a no-party basis.
Yet, 'Movement democracy' seems unlikely to progress further
towards institutionalization. As soon as the elections were
over, the debate on whether multipartism should be
introduced took off again. Jaberi Bidandi-Ssali, one of the
Movement's most influential leaders, declared that he could
not see a reason why the 'individual merit' principle should
be adopted again in 2006.21 Western donors said they saw no
difference between the election campaign mounted by the
Movement and that of a fully-fledged political party.
Uganda's political-institutional dynamic since Museveni took
over in 1986, may soon experience further crucial