Voters in Uganda are casting ballots Thursday in a nationwide referendum on whether to restore multi-party politics after nearly 20 years.

Despite early reports of low turnout, voters are widely expected to approve the measure, which reverses Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's ban on political parties.

Opposition groups -- which lost a last-minute court bid to stop the vote - have called for a boycott, arguing that political rights should not be put to a vote.

They also accuse the president of appeasing his critics, after lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment allowing him to run for another term in office.

Mr. Museveni banned political parties after seizing power in 1986, arguing they would split the country along tribal lines. But he is now calling on voters to support lifting the ban, saying Uganda is now ready for multi-party politics.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.