"In early 2011 Ugandans will go to the polls to vote for president and members of parliament. The 2011 elections are crucial for the promotion and protection of the human rights of all Ugandans. Uganda's democracy is fragile; the upcoming elections will be only the second multiparty elections in Uganda's history, and the country has not had a peaceful, constitutional transfer of power since independence in 1962. National elections in 2006 and 2001 were marred by politically motivated violence, intimidation, and bribery of voters, virtually none of which were either investigated or prosecuted, a failure that reinforces a culture of impunity. Lack of accountability for election-related violations undermines democracy and threatens human rights. Preparing for the Polls: Improving Accountability for Electoral Violence in Uganda documents various incidents of election-related violence from previous elections where perpetrators were never held to account as well as apparently politically motivated prosecutions of members of the opposition. Uganda's Parliament is considering changes in legislation that could improve the conduct of the elections and ensure that they are held in accordance with international standards. Human Rights Watch calls on Parliament to ensure legislative changes increase the possibility of justice for election-related violence. The government should investigate and prosecute incidents that can ultimately deny voters their rights to free expression and association and to freely elect their representatives. Human Rights Watch also calls on the government to enforce all election and criminal laws equally in relation to all parties. International donors, particularly those that fund Uganda's elections, should urge the government to protect the civil and political rights of Ugandans in the period leading up to the vote, during the vote itself, and in its aftermath."--P.  of cover.
"December 2009."--Table of contents page. "This report was written and researched by Maria E. Burnett, researcher in the Africa division at Human Rights Watch."--P. 28.