Mao Attributes Electoral Challenges to Political Culture, Not Electoral Commission

justice minister mao announces ugandas comprehensive human rights initiative
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During the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Simon Byabakama for a second term as chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Norbert Mao, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and president of the Democratic Party, addressed Uganda’s electoral challenges. Mao emphasized that the root of these issues lies within the political culture, where intense competition prevails, despite there being only one winner.

Acknowledging the complexity of electoral processes, Mao underscored the need for constructive engagement beyond election cycles. He highlighted initiatives like national dialogue as avenues for citizens to have their voices heard, emphasizing that political participation extends beyond holding elected positions.

Mao’s stance on electoral challenges is informed by his own experiences, having been a presidential candidate himself. He referenced instances where individuals resort to self-inauguration due to perceived electoral biases, overlooking the EC’s role in reflecting the will of the people.

In a surprising move in July 2022, Mao entered a working cooperation agreement with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), marking a significant shift in his political strategy. This agreement, the first of its kind in Uganda, led to Mao’s appointment as a minister and facilitated cooperation between the NRM and DP in various sectors.

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The swearing-in ceremony for the new EC team, overseen by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, took place at the High Court. With the next general elections scheduled for January 12 to February 9, 2026, nominations for presidential, parliamentary, and local government candidates will occur from June to October 2025.

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