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Presidential in Uganda: Museveni on his way to a 6th term

According to the latest results published on Saturday by the Electoral Commission, covering 91.1% of the country’s polling stations, Mr. Museveni won 58.8% of the vote, against 34.5% for Bobi Wine – Robert Kyagulanyi of his real name .

The final results of the January 14 presidential election are expected Saturday afternoon.

At the same time, the partial results of the legislative elections – organized on the same day as the presidential election – show that the Platform of National Unity (NUP), a formation of Mr. Wine, is on the way to becoming the main opposition party in Parliament.

The NUP notably won eight of the nine constituencies of the capital Kampala.

The elections took place at the end of a particularly violent campaign, marked by the harassment and arrests of members of the opposition, attacks on the media and the death of at least 54 people in riots after yet another arrest of Mr Wine, whose campaign has been largely hampered in the name of anti-Covid restrictions.

The vote took place in apparent calm Thursday, but under the strong and oppressive presence of riot police and soldiers, and against the backdrop of an internet cut, entered its 4th day on Saturday.

Mr. Wine denounced massive fraud – such as ballot box stuffing, pre-filled ballots, voters who received ballots only for legislative elections or attacks against observers of his party, sometimes driven from polling stations.

Friday, he denounced the first partial results of the presidential election: “what is announced is a complete masquerade, we reject them”.

35 years of Museveni

“We certainly won the election and we won it by a large margin,” the former ragga star, 38, of humble origins, very popular among Ugandan urban youth, told reporters.

The poll was the subject of “the worst rigging ever” in Uganda, he said, promising to provide video evidence once internet access was restored.

The President of the Electoral Commission Simon Mugenyi Byabakama rejected these accusations of fraud, and asked Mr. Wine to “show the country how (…) the results are rigged”.

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy on Twitter said the vote was “fundamentally biased”, denouncing the refusal to accredit foreign election observers and “the violence and harassment of opposition leaders” .

He considered “essential the immediate and total reestablishment of connections to the internet” and “urged all actors to restrain and reject violence while the results are announced”.

The police have already warned the population not to go out to celebrate or contest the results, based on the draconian health rules to fight against Covid-19, already used to prevent opposition gatherings during the campaign .

On Saturday, Mr. Wine’s home was still surrounded by police and military personnel who had deployed there the day before.

Friday afternoon, Mr. Wine had indicated to “feel threatened”: “They jumped over the fence, they came into the enclosure (…) I do not know why they are there, but I imagine that it is to hurt me “.

The deputy spokesman of the army, Deo Akiiki, on the contrary justified the presence of the soldiers to ensure the safety of the candidate, affirming that they had prevented three people “to reach his house”.

Mr. Museveni has ruled Uganda since he took power as the head of a rebel movement in 1986.

First applauded as a modern leader after the horrors of the regimes of Idi Amin Dada and Milton Obote, he gradually turned into an authoritarian president, crushing all opposition.

His hegemonic party, the National Resistance Movement, twice amended the constitution to allow him to remain in power. In Africa, only Teodoro Obiang Nguema in Equatorial Guinea and Paul Biya in Cameroon have spent more time in power without interruption.

Three quarters of the 44 million Ugandans are under 30 and have known no other president than him.

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