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The year 2010 marks the five-year anniversary of the legal reintroduction of multi-party democracy in Uganda following a national referendum in 2005. With the second presidential and parliamentary elections after the return to a multi-party system taking place next year, assessing and discussing the extent to which multi-party democracy has truly been established in Uganda since 2005 is a timely endeavour. It is the aim of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung to provide a platform for meaningful dialogue regarding the advances of and challenges to multi-party democracy in Uganda.
The symposium “Reality Check – The state of multi-party democracy in Uganda in 2010” aims to trigger a debate among major stakeholders, experts and actors that will bring to the fore a multitude of issues and perspectives, as well as facilitating the achievement of a synthesis regarding how the identified issues can be addressed.
After bringing together the leading players and experts in the area, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung will reach out to a wider audience through a publication consisting of the papers presented and the synthesis discussion at the symposium.
The symposium will bring together an exclusive number of 100 participants with leading roles and particular expertise in the areas of democracy and governance. The following categories have been invited:
•Government: representatives of the major ministries and other government institutions
•Leaders of the major political parties
•Academics and student leaders
•Representatives from civil society, NGOs, think tanks and consultancy firms
•Media: reporters from all major print and electronic media
The one-day symposium shall be divided into two sessions. A KAS representative will open both sessions with a brief presentation to introduce the topic and provide initial stimulus for debate. Two contributors will then present their respective papers, followed by an extended open discussion about both papers.
The theme of the morning session will be ‘the institutional political system and environment in Uganda’. A number of specific questions should be addressed here:
•Has the Movement fully made the transition into a political party on one side and a multi-party state on the other? What residues, if any, remain on either side?
•Are the checks and balances to power sufficient to ensure successful multi-party democracy in Uganda?
•To what extent has a level political playing field been established in Uganda?
The afternoon session will focus on the political actors operating within that environment:
•To what extent does the political opposition present a viable alternative for effective governance?
•Does the NRM present a viable option for effective governance?
•Does the NRM in its current form, or in any form, fit into a multi-party system?