UPDF Vows Impartiality in 2026 Uganda Elections

The Ugandan army pledges neutrality in the 2026 elections, vowing to focus on securing the country and not interfering with the political process. This commitment to impartiality aims to ensure a fair and peaceful electoral environment for Ugandan citizens.

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UPDF Vows Impartiality in 2026 Uganda Elections

UPDF Vows Impartiality in 2026 Uganda Elections

The Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) has pledged to maintain a neutral stance in the upcoming 2026 general elections in Uganda. UPDF spokesperson Brig Felix Kulayigye emphasized that the army does not endorse any political candidate and will focus on its role of securing the country during the electoral process.

Appearing on NBS TV's "All Hard Questions" program with host Solomon Serwanjj on April 25, 2024, Kulayigye clarified the UPDF's responsibilities in the election. "The army does not support any political candidate and their role is to secure the country during elections, against attacks or external interference," he stated. The army's duty is to reinforce the police in areas where a firm presence is required, but not to directly protect election practitioners, which falls under the purview of the police.

When asked about the current Chief of Defense Forces, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who has expressed presidential ambitions, Kulayigye asserted that this is not part of the army's plan. He defended Gen Muhoozi's involvement in political commentary, noting that it occurred during his tenure as a Presidential Advisor on Special Operations, a political office.

Why this matters: The UPDF's commitment to impartiality in the 2026 Uganda elections holds significant implications for the democratic process and stability of the country. As a key institution, the army's neutral stance can contribute to a fair and peaceful electoral environment, allowing Ugandan citizens to freely exercise their right to vote without undue influence or intimidation.

Kulayigye's appearance on the television program aimed to provide clarity on the UPDF's role and address concerns about potential military involvement in the political sphere. By emphasizing the army's focus on national security and its separation from partisan politics, the UPDF seeks to instill public confidence in the integrity of the upcoming elections.

Key Takeaways

  • UPDF pledges neutrality in 2026 Uganda elections, will focus on securing country.
  • UPDF spokesperson clarifies army does not endorse any political candidate.
  • UPDF's role is to reinforce police, not directly protect election practitioners.
  • Gen. Muhoozi's political commentary occurred during his tenure as a presidential advisor.
  • UPDF's neutral stance aims to ensure a fair and peaceful electoral environment.