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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Dilemmas of Directed Democracy: Neutralizing Opposition Politics under the National Resistance Movement (NRM)
Author:Ssenkumba, John
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Uganda
East Africa
National Resistance Movement
opposition parties
Politics and Government
Law, Human Rights and Violence
political opposition
political participation
National Resistance Movement (Uganda)
Political development
Abstract:The central issue in the transition from monolithic to pluralistic systems is whether or not the emerging political organizations will provide a strong and credible challenge to the ruling establishment. For democracy will only thrive if there is a viable opposition able to compete effectively with the incumbent. With this in mind, the author outlines the major features of the opposition as it has evolved in the Ugandan context through an analysis of the relationship between the incumbent National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its main political adversaries. He highlights the stakes involved, the strategies adopted, and the implications of these processes for the broad project of democratization in Uganda. He notes that Uganda's social and political development under the NRM can be categorized as a guided democracy in which the incumbent supervises a process of complex and incremental concessions of power. When the NRM assumed power in 1986 the internecine political competition for control of the State which characterized Uganda's postindependence politics made democratization seem an impossible dream. Subsequently, the fundamental differences in the definition of democratization adopted by the NRM and its political rivals created new problems for the achievement of democracy. Lastly, uncertainty over the NRM's popular support has caused it to undercut rather than strengthen its commitment to democracy. Notes, ref.