Museveni wins Uganda election with 59 percent of vote

Museveni wins Uganda election with 59 percent of vote”

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni won a decisive re-election victory on Saturday, elections officials said, but his main rival Bobi Wine alleged widespread fraud and said citizens should reject the result.

With 29.4% of votes from Thursday's ballot counted, Museveni had won 1,852,263 votes, or 63.9%, while main opposition candidate Bobi Wine had 821,874 (28.4%), the electoral commission said just after 11 a.m. (0800 GMT).

He told the Reuters news agency that this had been "the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda". In a phone interview before the final results were announced, he urged citizens to reject the results.

The army's deputy spokesman, Deo Akiiki, told Reuters that security officers at Wine's house were assessing threats he could face by going out: "So they might be preventing him in the interest of his own safety".

Associated Press journalists who tried to reach Wine's home on the outskirts of Kampala were turned away by police at a roadblock about 500 metres away.

Thursday's vote followed some of the East African country's worst pre-election violence since the 76-year-old Mr Museveni took office in 1986.

On Wednesday, the government ordered an internet blackout until further notice, a day after banning all social media and messaging apps.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, promised to provide video evidence once the internet was restored.

Wine's claims have not been independently verified by Reuters.

"The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni. elected President of the Republic of Uganda", said commission chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama.

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Another major observer, the European Union, said its offer to deploy electoral experts "was not taken up".

Monitoring of the vote was further complicated by the arrests of independent monitors and the denial of accreditation to so many members of the US observer mission that the USA called it off.

The head of the African Union observer team, Samuel Azuu Fonkam, told reporters he could not say whether the election had been free and fair, noting the "limited" AU mission which largely focused on the capital, Kampala.

Police recorded 42 election-related offences nationwide during voting and tallying so far, police spokesman Fred Enanga said on Friday night on local NBS TV.

The electoral commission said Museveni received 58 per cent of ballots and Wine 34 per cent, and voter turnout was 52 per cent.

Mr Wine and other opposition candidates were often harassed, and more than 50 people were killed when security forces halted riots in November over Mr Wine's arrest.

Wine and his supporters used Facebook to relay live coverage of his campaigns and news conferences after he said many media outlets had declined to host him.

Ugandans voted on January 14, 2021 under heavy security and an internet blackout in an election pitting veteran leader Yoweri Museveni against a former popstar after one of the bloodiest campaigns in years.

If 76-year-old Museveni is declared the victor over Wine, who is half his age, he would enter a sixth, five-year term as president.

The FDC won 35 seats in the 2016 election, but the NUP had no seats in the previous parliament - Wine was elected as an independent and joined the party a year ago.

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