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Ugandans Vote for Return of Multi-Party Politics


Election officials in Uganda say voters have overwhelmingly decided to end nearly two decades of single-party politics.

Results of a nationwide referendum, announced Saturday, show nearly 93 percent of Uganda's voters backed the reform. Voters had been widely expected to approve the measure, which reverses a ban on political parties imposed when President Yoweri Museveni seized power in 1986.

The president urged voters to lift the ban and said Uganda is now ready for multi-party politics. Opposition groups say Mr. Museveni was trying to appease his critics, following approval of a constitutional amendment allowing him to run for another term in office.

Officials reported that fewer than half of Uganda's voters (47%) cast ballots on Thursday. Mr. Museveni's opponents had called for a boycott, arguing that the referendum was an unnecessary expense and illegal, and that it was part of a plan for the president to remain in power for life.

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