A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Election Season is Finally Over

Elections in Uganda, and much of Africa for that matter, are a several week process. Our elections took most of February and March. There were elections for President, Members of Parliament, and Local Council members (5 branches worth!). Every week was a different position and a public holiday was announced where everyone was encouraged to go and vote. As you can imagine, not a lot of work happened over these many weeks. I wondered why they couldn't do all the voting at once but after seeing the ballots and hearing the voting stories, I realized it would have been even more chaotic than it already was. Each ballot had the name, political symbol and picture of the people running. You voted either by signing your name or by stamping your finger print. Then each card had to be counted by hand. For a few elections the ballot boxes were already full at 7 am when the polling stations opened. While there was a lot of talk about anti-corruption and not rigging the votes, it seems it still existed.

Elections have officially ended now. Everyone is getting back into the swing of work and school and peace seems to reign. A few runners contested the outcomes of the elections and the Electoral Committee is busy recounting and handling those localized situations. There was a lot of hype leading up to the elections and the actual season of elections was rather anti-climatic. There were a few incidents of violence but nothing large scale. I am glad Uganda had peaceful elections and I hope peace prevails along with positive progress. We shall see which politicians follow through on their promises. So, until the next season of elections, God bless Uganda.

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