For more than 20 years now, the Opposition in Uganda has failed to clinch victory over the incumbent National Resistance Movement (NRM) government in an election.
According to figures from the Electoral Commission, many Ugandans were increasingly staying away from the ballot – a practice that political analysts attributed to lack of hope in an opposition candidate beating President Yoweri Museveni in an open election.
Dr Kiiza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has come close twice in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 but still failed to push his former ally thanks to what he called “massive vote rigging” and the employment of the militia to intimidate the public.
However, Ugandans on Thursday woke up in high spirits after the morning news that Democratic Republic of Congo’s longtime president, Joseph Kabila’s party had been defeated by the leader of the country’s new political party; Union for Democracy and Social Progress, Felix Tshisekedi after a hotly contested election.
Having been declared elected president with only 38.57% per cent of the vote, Ugandans now feel empowered to try the Congolese masterstroke in 2021 and make history of causing regime change through the ballot for the first time since independence.
Besigye tweeted a congratulatory message to the Congolese people for standing firm against a government that not only postponed the election for over a year, but is also accused of having burnt electoral materials before the December 30 election.
“A turning of the corner in DRC politics. The people of DRC have struggled hard for a long time and deserve a democratic transition! Congratulations on the huge step so far!” read his tweet.
According to the initial timetable set out by the Independent National Election Commission (CENI), the definitive results are due on January 15 with the swearing-in of the new president three days later.