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Parliament name Parliament
More photos  >>>
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1981 - 1985
1991 -
President Rebecca Kadaga (F) 
Notes Elected on 19 May 2011.
Secretary General Jane Lubowa Kibirige (F) 
Notes 8 Feb. 2012 -
Members (statutory / current number) 386 / 386

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Women (current number) 135 (34.97%)
Mode of designation directly elected 238
indirectly elected 137
other 11
Notes Indirectly elected members include:
(a) 112 women district representatives; (b) Five youth representatives; (c) Five representatives of disabled persons; (d) Five workers' representatives; and (e) 10 representatives of the Uganda People's Defence Forces. At least one person from categories (b) to (d), and two from category (e) must be women.
In addition to the 375 members, the President of the Republic may appoint as many ex officio members as he/she wishes. The number of ex officio members (ministers who do not have voting rights), and thus the statutory number of members, may vary during the course of the legislature.
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 18 February 2011
(View details)
Address Parliament
Parliamentary Buildings
Parliament Avenue
P.O. Box 7178 - KAMPALA
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (256 414) 37 71 00
37 70 00
25 61 90
Fax (256 414) 23 12 96
34 68 26
E-mail speaker@parliament.go.ug


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 26 February 1996
Last amendment: 16.11.2005
Mode of designation directly elected 238
indirectly elected 137
other 11
Constituencies 215 single-member constituencies (for directly elected members)
In addition, there are 80 districts for women representatives.
Voting system Majority: Simple majority vote.
By-elections are held within 60 days to fill vacancies which arise between general elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Ugandan citizenship (including naturalized citizens)
- disqualifications: imprisonment, conviction for crime, holders of temporary entry permits, undocumented immigrants
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 18 years
- Ugandan citizenship (including naturalized citizens)
- residence in the country at the time of election
- minimum education at advanced level
- ineligibilities: insanity, election-connected office, undischarged bankruptcy, sentence of death or imprisonment exceeding nine months
Incompatibilities - membership of local government council
- public office
- traditional or cultural leader, as defined in Constitution
Candidacy requirements - nomination by a registered political party
- candidature can be submitted by individuals


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 18 February 2011
Timing and scope of renewal Elections were held for all seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
The February 2011 parliamentary and presidential elections were the second multi-party elections to be held in Uganda since 1986. Political party activities had been banned in 1986 following the introduction of a "no-party" system (known as "The Movement") by President Yoweri Museveni - a former guerrilla leader who come to power as head of the National Resistance Army earlier the same year. The multi-party system was re-introduced by a referendum in 2005, which also lifted the two-term presidential limit.

At stake in 2011 were 375 seats in parliament (up from 332), which comprise 237 directly elected seats (up from 215) and 112 seats reserved for women (up from 79). As in the 2006 elections, there were five additional representatives each for youth, the disabled and workers as well as 10 representatives of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF).

In the 2006 elections, President Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) won a total of 206 seats. The main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), led by Mr. Kizza Besigye, took 37 seats. The Democratic Party (DP) and the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) took nine and eight seats respectively. The Conservative Party (CP) and the Justice Forum of Uganda (JEEMA) won one seat each, while the remaining 37 seats went to independents.

In the presidential elections, President Museveni was re-elected with 59 per cent of the votes. His main rival, Mr. Besigye, who obtained 37 per cent of the votes, challenged the results. However, his petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court and Mr. Museveni was sworn in for a third term in May 2006.

In July 2008, the FDC, the CP, the JEEMA and the UPC formed the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC). In 2009, the IPC demanded, in a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi, that the UPDF representation in parliament be abolished, alleging that UPDF MPs supported the NRM.

Article 78 of the 1995 Constitution invests parliament with the power to review the representation of interest groups (see note 2). In October 2010, Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi ordered Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya to prepare the necessary motion. The latter subsequently submitted a motion to parliament to retain the seats of all the interest groups, including the 10 seats reserved for the UPDF. Despite the IPC petition, parliament voted on 10 November to retain all seats for the interest groups in the new legislature.

Prior to the 2011 elections, nearly 80 MPs changed political allegiances. On 1 February 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that, based on Article 83 (1) (g) and (h) of the Constitution, it is illegal for independent MPs to stand for elections on a party ticket and for party MPs to run as independents. The court ruled that independent MPs should vacate their seat before being nominated to contest elections on a political party ticket (see note 3). In all, 77 members were affected by the Constitutional Court's ruling.

On 11 February, Speaker Ssekandi directed the 77 MPs, whose term is due to end in May 2011, to vacate their seats immediately. The MPs were also required to refund the salary (about 13m shillings per month) they had received since their nomination as candidates in November 2010. On the same day, the Supreme Court granted an interim stay of execution of the Constitutional Court's ruling. If the Supreme Court upholds the Constitutional Court's ruling, the MPs concerned who won seats in 2011 will have their election nullified.

In 2011, 1,270 candidates were vying for the directly elected seats, while 443 were running for the special seats reserved for women. 18 candidates, including five incumbent MPs, were disqualified for failing to submit proper supporting documents.

The 2011 elections were held against a backdrop of protests in several African and Arab countries, which saw the removal of long-serving presidents in Tunisia and Egypt in January and February respectively. President Museveni - who has been in power since 1986 and was seeking a fourth consecutive term in 2011 - stated emphatically there would be no Egypt-like revolution in Uganda.

The NRM presented a manifesto entitled "Prosperity for all, better service delivery and job creation", pledging to transform Uganda from "a third world country to a modern one". President Museveni ran on the government's record, citing an average growth rate of 5 per cent since 2004 and progress in the fight against the Lord's Resistance Army's rebellion. He promised to develop the petroleum industry, and ensure environmental management and sustainable development. In February, he called for the creation of a political federation of the East African Community by 2012, underscoring that such a federation would be "the insurance policy of Africa's future".

The IPC campaigned under the slogan "Change is coming". It endorsed Mr. Besigye's candidature in the presidential polls, although the parties in the coalition fielded parliamentary candidates separately. In January, Mr. Besigye signed a commitment to implement the Citizens' Manifesto if he was elected President. The manifesto had been launched by the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform (UGMP), a grouping of 17 non-governmental organizations, amidst calls for constitutional review, reinstitution of presidential term limits and establishment of a credible national electoral commission (EC). Mr. Besigye called the 2011 elections "fundamentally flawed", criticizing the President's control of the electoral commission and the non-issuance of new identification cards which, in his view, was proof that the President would rig the vote.

In all, 59.29 per cent of the 13.9 million registered voters turned out at the polls. The government declared 17 February a public holiday and deployed thousands of security forces across the country.

The electoral commission introduced a computerized results-tallying system aimed at preventing fraud.

The European Union Election Observation Mission noted some improvements over the previous elections held in 2006 and stated that the election campaign and polling had been conducted in a peaceful manner. It nevertheless noted administrative and logistical failures that could have been avoided. The African Union observer mission said there was an urgent need to improve electoral laws before the next elections.

The NRM took a total of 250 seats: 165 of the 237 directly elected seats and 85 of the 112 seats reserved for women. The FDC came in a distant second, winning 23 directly elected seats and 11 of the seats reserved for women. The DP and the UPC took 12 and 10 seats respectively. The CP and the JEEMA won one seat each. The remainder went to 42 independent candidates. The First Lady, Janet Museveni, (NRM) was re-elected to parliament.

President Museveni was re-elected for a fourth term with over 68 per cent of the vote, with just over 26% for his main challenger, Mr. Besigye.

On 19 May, the newly elected parliament held its first session and elected Ms. Rebecca Kadaga (NRM) as its new Speaker.

Note 1:
In June 2010, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) joined the IPC. In August 2010, the IPC elected FDC leader Besigye as its new leader and presidential candidate for the 2011. UPC leader Olara Otunnu, who lost to Mr. Besigye in the IPC presidency, withdrew his party from IPC and announced that he would run for the 2011 presidential elections.

Note 2:
Article 78 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that Parliament shall review representation every five years "for the purposes of retaining, increasing or abolishing any such representation and any other matter incidental to it".

Note 3:
In all, nearly 50 independent members in the outgoing parliament were nominated as NRM candidates while 14 NRM MPs who had lost the party primaries became independents. Similarly, seven independent MPs were nominated as FDC candidates while three FDC MPs declared that they would run as independents. The ruling was the result of a suit filed by Mr. George Owor, who challenged the nomination of Mr. William Oketcho - who had joined the outgoing 8th Legislature as an independent - as NRM flag-bearer for West Budama North. Mr. Okecho subsequently filed an appeal with the Supreme Court for a stay of execution and for judicial review of the Constitutional Court's ruling.

According to Article 83 (1) of the Constitution, a member of Parliament shall vacate his or her seat in Parliament:
(g) if that person leaves the political party for which he or she stood as a candidate for election to Parliament to join another party or to remain in Parliament as an independent member;
(h) if, having been elected to Parliament as an independent candidate, that person joins a political party;
Link to the Constitution:
Voter turnout
Round no 118 February 2011
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
8'272'760 (59.29%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
National Resistance Movement (NRM)
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)
Democratic Party (DP)
Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF)
Uganda People's Congress (UPC)
Conservative Party (CP)
Justice Forum of Uganda (JEEMA)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
National Resistance Movement (NRM) 263
Independents 44
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) 34
Democratic Party (DP) 12
Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) 10
Uganda People's Congress (UPC) 10
Conservative Party (CP) 1
Justice Forum of Uganda (JEEMA) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Breakdown of the 131 seats won by women:
- Constituency Representatives: 11
- Women District Representatives: 112
- Youth Representatives: 2
- Representatives of disabled persons: 2
- Workers' Representatives: 2
- Representatives of the Uganda People's Defense Forces: 2
In addition to the 131 elected women, there were four women among the 11 ex-officio members as at 10 January 2012, bringing the total number of women to 135 of the full 386 members.

Parliament (22.03.2011, 20.05.2011, 24.05.2011, 10.01.2011)


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of Parliament
Term - duration: 5 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of the Parliament
Appointment - elected by all Members of Parliament at their first sitting after elections
- after Members' mandates have been validated
- after Members have been sworn in
Eligibility - any Member may be a candidate, but formal notification is required one day before voting
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- a simple majority is required; several rounds are only held in case of a tie
Procedures / results - the Chief Justice of the High Court presides over the Parliament during the voting
- the Chief Justice of the High Court, assisted by the Clerk, supervises the voting
- the Chief Justice of the High Court announces the results without delay
- the results may be challenged at the requests of MPs
Status - ranks third in the hierarchy of the State
- represents the National Parliament in international bodies
- is ex officio President of the Committee on Appointments and the Committee for Welfare of Members
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Material facilities - allowance
- official residence
- official car
- secretariat
- additional staff
- domestic staff
- bodyguards
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda, assisted by the Clerk
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time, assisted by a parliamentary committee
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study at the request of a member who submits a motion
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting-up of such committees at a request of a member who submits a motion
- appoints committees and their presidents
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Parliament
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the texts adopted and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of Parliament, based on precedents
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - may be consulted with regard to the recruitment, assignment and promotion of staff
- can indirectly influence the appointment of the Clerk
- can indirectly influence the organization of the services of Parliament
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Parliament
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- consults the Judiciary before a bill is presented to Parliament
- is consulted by the Head of State in the event of dissolution of the Parliament

This page was last updated on 13 March 2012
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