I was in a hotel in Kampala fourteen months ago. I saw his picture with the inscription General Yoweri Museveni. Yes, the Ugandan President is also a general! They said he has “won” the recent presidential election, and will keep an office he assumed in January 1986. While you may be offended by that outcome in the age of Facebook, remember that Paul Biya of Cameroon has been in the presidential palace since 1982. Paul Kagame of Rwanda is also there, since April 2000.
Those things do not look right. But look deeper. The fact is this: in a world that is becoming more democratic, it is easier to have such outliers, simply because no military general will dream of a coup as it is certain that the world will reject it. So, the only playbook is this: do a jamboree of an election, and with that hold on to power. The United Nations will issue its press release. The AU, US, EU, etc will do their versions. And after 7 days, the world moves on. You keep the palace.
That was what happened in the United States before Twitter and Big Tech decided to “act” government and “regulators” by banning politicians, disconnecting corrosive websites, etc. Largely, in a world which is attaining a steady state of liberal democracy*, the orthodox democratic institutions are evidently unable to deal with outliers. U.S. institutions struggled to manage Trump’s statements because they were not designed for outliers like Donald J Trump.
Likewise, African Union, UN, etc, cannot change the course of Uganda because they are not designed for such. That explains why Museveni, Biya and Kagame will continue to hold power, since from all angles they are running democratic states, and the institutions have no processes to curtail their ambitions.
Bobi Wine lost before the voting; he simply provided a cover for the “democratic” dictator to continue his records. His country will need a “Twitter effect” to normalize the equilibrium. If not, another player will continue and juice the party for Museveni. Interestingly, the Twitter Effect may not come from governments!
*This is what Liberal Democracy means which some of these countries may claim they are practicing as there are elections in the process.
It is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either codified (such as in the United States) or uncodified (such as in the United Kingdom), to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world (wikipedia)
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