Greater Danbury – Violence, uproar and military measures. No, this isn’t an Essexian general election we’re talking about (Though the upcoming one in March has spurred some recent Parliamentary activity), but the 2021 Ugandan General Election. Held on the 14th January 2021, the election of the President and Parliament of Uganda was set to be a historic one – Resistance against incumbent President Yoweri Museveni (Who has held a dictatorial position of power for 36 years) was at an all-time high, and there were numerous opposition parties with popular support. Most notably, the National Unity Party’s candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Known by his musician stage name Bobi Wine) was particularly popular.
But despite the vigorous campaigning that the NUP and other parties had participated in, Museveni’s government had cracked down by banning social media, restricting campaigning in certain areas under the guise of slowing COVID-19 and having the police and military actively attack supporters of opposition parties and leaders (Including Bobi Wine, who had been arrested twice during the campaign).
Despite the election concluding almost a week ago, First Minister Ben of the Weeaboo Rights Party and ruling Giraffe Concordat released a statement condemning the lack of “appropriate transparency” in the election, citing that it did not “fulfil the basic suggested requirements put forward by the European Union.” Indeed, the United States refused to observe the elections believing that the vote would lack transparency and accountability1, and the European Union’s EOM not deploying as previous recommendations had been ignored2.
Finally, FM Ben also stated that he shall be “considering what actions our Commonwealth’s government can take to further support Mr. Ssentamu”, returning to his roots as a renowned Civil Rights activist in Essexia who fights for the equality and rights of all individuals. While one can ponder whether this move was a political one, aimed at winning support for the upcoming election despite unfavourable preliminary polls, ultimately the First Minister has taken appropriate and important steps to show that Essexia’s executive offices are still active and well-informed of foreign relations and world events; Ben was even an active supporter of the ‘Dean 2020’ campaign for the Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational, which ultimately won and included in its platform provisions for greater equality, specifically for Asian Micronations.
In the end, it was declared that Yoweri Museveni had won a sixth term with 58.64% of the vote, Bobi Wine losing with just 34.83%. However, these results have been widely disputed and are believed by many international nations to be rigged in favour of Museveni, a tactic which wouldn’t be unsurprising considering his continuous authoritarianism, the election’s lack of transparency and the lack of evidence to prove the result. Additionally, turnout was only reported to have been 57.22%, a decrease from last year. Now, it appears that FM Ben also subscribes to the belief that the election was rigged, despite Museveni claiming otherwise.
Regardless, with the next election not occurring until 2026, only time will tell whether the situation in Uganda will improve or not, or even if Museveni will live to compete again considering he recently celebrated his 76th birthday. But Ben’s brash actions have set a precedent for future First Ministers – loud opinions and a will for progressivism.
Jack is the Minister of Defence, Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational and a previous First Minister of Essexia.