The 1995 Constitution of Uganda provides that the people of Uganda shall have the right to choose and adopt a political system of their choice through free and fair elections or referenda. The further Constitution lays out three political systems; – a movement political system, a multiparty political system, and any other democratic and representative political system.
Arguably, since the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution, Uganda maintains the equilibrium of all the systems entangled together as one. This is a result of our political history, which falls back to 1962 when she got her independence from the colonial powers. This has continued to cause debate on whether there is a difference between a movement and a multiparty political system in Uganda.
Be that as it may, Article 69(1) does not define what a political system is, however, a movement political system is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or society with mainly political goals. These are related to political parties in the sense that they both aim to make an impact on the government and that several political parties have emerged from the initial political movement.
Article 70 further states that Parliament may create organs under the movement political system and define their roles. It may prescribe from time to time, any other democratic principle of the movement political system, as it may consider necessary.
In 2000, a referendum on restoring multiparty democracy was held, and Ugandans were asked to vote which political system they wished to adopt. The result was 90.7% in support of the non-partisan movement system. This was, however, overturned in a second referendum in 2005, restoring multiparty politics.
Article 71 of the Constitution provides for a multiparty system which conforms to principles such as; a political party to have a national character, membership of a political party shall not be based on sex, ethnicity, religion or other sectional division, the internal organization of a political party shall conform to the democratic principles enshrined in this Constitution, members of the national organs of a political party shall be regularly elected from citizens of Uganda, political parties shall be required by law to account for the sources and use of their funds and assets, and no person shall be compelled to join a particular party by virtue of belonging to an organization or interest group.
In conclusion, Uganda is now governed by and under a multiparty system. It has a Parliament that constitutes opposition and official leader of the opposition at the level of a Cabinet Minister. Uganda has 29 registered active political parties enlisted by the Uganda Electoral Commission.