International observers monitoring the 2006 elections raised concerns that a level playing field was not established before the elections took place. One reason for this was the lack of balance in media coverage, especially on the part of the state owned media. However, there was consensus that despite some shortcomings on election day, voting was generally well administered, transparent and competitive.
Our high commission in Kampala, along with other representatives of the international community, continues to monitor the governance environment, including media freedom, in Uganda.
We have a regular dialogue with the government of Uganda on all aspects of developing multi-party democracy and engaging with the opposition, building towards the next elections. Our high commissioner in Kampala discussed these issues most recently with President Museveni on 10 May.
The Government are helping the Ugandan Parliament finalise a new strategic plan for its development and is helping to build the capacity of a number of parliamentary committees. The Government also plan to commit £5 million to a new multi-donor ‘deepening democracy’ programme which will include help for the implementation of the strategic plan that Parliament is now finalising.
In March our high commission in Kampala funded a visit of Ugandan opposition MPs to the UK to enable them to gain a greater understanding of how an opposition works within a parliamentary democracy. We will continue to look for further opportunities to work with the Ugandan parliament in the run up to the 2011 elections.