KAMPALA – On March 4, 1966, Apollo Milton Obote suspended the constitution and declared himself president.
We take a look at what led to his action and what happened after:
Obote served as the Prime Minister from 1962 to 1966 following Uganda’s Independence in 1962.
Prior to independence elections, Obote formed a coalition with the Buganda royalist party, Kabaka Yekka where the two parties controlled a Parliamentary majority. Obote became the Prime Minister and Kabaka Mutesa II the ceremonial President.
Obote was later implicated in gold smuggling, together with Idi Amin, then deputy commander of the Ugandan armed forces.
When the Parliament demanded an investigation in Obote’s dealings and the ousting of Amin, he suspended the constitution and declared himself President on March 04, 1966, allocating to himself almost unlimited power under the state of emergency rulings.
Obote also carried out a military assault at Kabaka Mutesa’s palace, which ended with the later’s fleeing to exile.
In 1967, Obote, through parliament passed a new constitution that abolished the federal structure of the independence constitution and created an executive presidency.
Additional reporting by New Vision