Published:   July 2019

Language: English

Pages: 64

EAT WIDELY, VOTE WISELY? LESSONS FROM A CAMPAIGN AGAINST VOTE BUYING IN UGANDA

This paper explores these questions by studying an unusually large civil society intervention in Uganda, a low-income East African country where one political party and its leader have held power since 1986. Many experts consider Uganda a “multiparty autocracy” or a “hegemonic party system” at the Presidential level (Tripp, 2010). At other levels, however, polls are fairly competitive. As in many other developing countries, vote buying has long been endemic in Uganda, and most votes are bought by incumbents (Conroy-Krutz, 2012). 

The extensive fieldwork we conducted prior to the intervention confirmed the ubiquity of vote buying, while shedding light on the role that prevailing social norms and political machines play in sustaining it.Ahead of Uganda’s 2016 general elections, we partnered with the largest collective of electoral civil society organizations in Uganda, the Alliance for Election Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM), and its international partner the National Democratic Institute (NDI).