Ugandan ruling party still to dominate parliament after vote

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Yoweri Museveni was re-elected as president of Uganda in February 2016

Yoweri Museveni was re-elected as president of Uganda in February 2016 (AFP Photo/Isaac Kasamani)

Kampala (AFP) - Uganda President Yoweri Museveni's ruling party is set to dominate parliament once again, according to results being compiled by the election commission after last week's vote.

However, at least 17 ministers lost their seats in the election that saw Museveni win a fifth term in office.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) is predicted to win more than two-thirds of the 427 seats when the final tallies are announced next week.

"NRM domination of Parliament means that executive action and presidential power will continue to be largely unchecked," said Kabumba Buingye, a law lecturer at Kampala's Makerere University.

Although Museveni was re-elected, at least 17 of his ministers lost their seats, among them defence minister Crispus Kiyonga -- who is spearheading regional efforts to end the political crisis in Burundi -- and attorney general Fred Ruhindi.

"The list is long, more than 17," said Election Commission chief Badru Kiggundu.

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said the minister of internal affairs Rose Akol and education minister Jessica Alupo were also among the "big" losers, but he insisted the party had nevertheless "done very very well".

Museveni won last Thursday's election, extending his three-decade rule in a vote rejected as fraudulent by an opposition leader under house arrest and criticised by the international community.

The veteran 71-year-old won 60 percent of the vote in the sometimes chaotic elections, far ahead of the 35 percent garnered by detained opposition chief Kizza Besigye.

Some 9.7 million Ugandans voted -— a turnout of around 63 percent -— for the president and members of parliament.

The Electoral Commission said the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party was set to win 40 seats and the third-placed Democratic Party 15.

Emma Gordon, an analyst for Verisk Maplecroft, said the parliamentary results showed that NRM remains, "the only party with truly nationwide structures".