Friday, February 18, 2011

Elections in Uganda: The President and his personal physician

Ballot boxes in Kampala: This Friday the Ugandans to decide on their president - for fair elections Yoweri Museveni sees no cause for concern. On the contrary, the victory in the presidential election this Friday in Uganda, the longtime head of state considers it a matter of form, and the result would be "devastating for the opposition," exulted the 66-year-old Museveni on Wednesday.

He is the favorite in the vote. Whether it is the predicted walk is open to question. Although the Ugandan opposition was able to not even agree on a common candidate, thereby dramatically lessened their chances. One of the seven challengers, however, Kizza Besigye, is credited as a surprise.

Besigye, once Museveni's personal physician and several ministers in his government, until in 1999, quarreled with him and the South African exile was propagated a political program of simplicity can not be beaten and are essentially limited to what it to call for Museveni's fall. Since 1986, ruled the former bush fighter Museveni the east African country, after he had first set against the terrorist regime of Idi Amin and to defend the new ruler after his overthrow Milton Obote took office helped.

Obote also threw out about Museveni, again went into the bush and was able to overthrow former comrades in 1985. Since then, Uganda experienced a previously unknown stability, economic growth averaged five percent since 2004 and has enjoyed the expulsion of the rebel group Lord Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda and a peace.

The downside however is that Museveni Uganda ruled by lord of the manor, not particularly inconsistent estimates and that anyone who dares anyway, sooner or later take up the passage into exile must. Since the election of 1996, when Museveni was still at 75 percent approval rating, is the popularity of the president declined significantly.

In 2001, he was still 69 percent of the vote in 2006 it was "only" 59 percent, although even the Supreme Court complained of numerous irregularities. The 2006 election was preceded by a constitutional amendment that would allow Museveni, for not until then planned to run for third term.

Taking office in 1986 he had the refusal of the old rulers to step down as one of the underlying problems of governance in Africa identified. The fact that Museveni is remembered, is also not likely because Uganda will join the foreseeable future, the exclusive club of African oil producers.

The oil reserves in the Lake Albert are estimated according to sources at 2.2 billion barrels to 2.6 billion barrels. This is the future government enough money available to develop the land - if the revenue is managed properly. Until production began in 2012 a large refinery in Uganda will be constructed to not only the Ugandan, but presumably also process oil from neighboring southern Sudan is.

At the recent nation in the world has shiny Uganda relations and earned a well in the export of consumer goods to Juba. This is all according to Museveni's reading his own work, the fruits of this work, he wants to leave no other. So that the matter also to the voters, the President by the Parliament recently, additional funds amounting to 30 million euros seek approval for the President to bring his people even among the people.

The fact that such practices could meet international protest is, had already decided not to be feared because of past election campaign was relatively open. Never before has the opposition move as freely in the country as this time, that has to do in the opinion of Ugandan journalists in particular the fact that a victory for Museveni must look "clean".

You want his foreign allies, especially America, because the old fighter Museveni is urgently needed. The Ugandan army provided the bulk of the peacekeeping force of African Union (AU) for Somalia. More than 6,000 Ugandan soldiers there to protect a weak transitional government and provide almost daily heavy fighting with radical Islamic militia.

Uganda has since been a favorite target of Somali suicide bomber has become. Bomb attacks in Kampala in July last year 76 people were killed. Museveni's response was typical: first, he demanded in vain from the AU an explicit permission to attack its soldiers in Mogadishu. Then he announced that Uganda was ready to send up to 20,000 troops to Somalia.

That another politician as president would remain similar firm, is considered unlikely.

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