Challenges and Consequences of Managing Primary Elections in Emerging Multiparty Democracies

A Case of Uganda.

  • Dr. Stella Kyohairwe Uganda Management Institute
Keywords: Primary Elections, Multiparty Democracies, Political Parties, Electoral Processes


In multiparty democracies, the managing of elections of political representatives is considered as a critical process that determines the quality and policy credibility of the government. Election processes and procedural frameworks should be able to determine selection of competent political candidates with knowledge, integrity and honesty to determine better policy decisions and to ensure a responsive government. To achieve better election outcomes, we need to examine the electoral processes and determine better ways of managing such elections. This study, through interviews and secondary data from three regions in Uganda examined the management of 2016 party primary elections. The findings revealed three key factors influencing the party primaries as failure to follow the key principles and procedures, party structures that are fused with local council system, and the effect of the money culture in politics. Weakening of party cohesion, poor quality policies and a less- responsive political representative are some of the consequences. Evidence from this empirical study on the challenges of managing the primary elections in Uganda and theoretical explanations on primary elections discussed in this paper provide guidance for political parties, the incumbents and prospective politicians, and the general public on management of party elections.