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Bobi Wine cries foul in Uganda elections, Museveni declared winner

By The Africa Report
Posted on Saturday, 16 January 2021 16:01

Polling agents from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party celebrate the victory of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in the concluded general elections in Kampala
Polling agents from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party celebrate the victory of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in the concluded general elections in Kampala, Uganda January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has won a 5th term say election officials, while opposition candidate Bobi Wine claims the polls were rigged. Museveni took around 59%, with Bobi Wine around 35%.

The opposition candidate said the results were ‘fabricated’, and that he would provide proof of fraud as soon as the internet — cut since Wednesday — was restored.

“The widespread fanning out of troops across Uganda has an intimidating affect against voters, particularly younger people. In a civil society that has a supposedly free election there should be no need for the widespread presence of the military”, says Bobi Wine’s US lawyer, Bruce Afan. “This undermines the notion of a free and fair election.”

Uganda’s security services have surrounded Bobi Wine’s house.

Questions have been raised about how electoral officials can pronounce on the results when the election was running on new voting machines, that traditionally require an internet connection.

It follows a violent campaign of intimidation and violence from the regime, that recalled the treatment of previous opposition candidate Kizza Besigye.

READ MORE Uganda’s democracy-free election 

The crack down on Bobi Wine is part of a growing trend of criminalisation of the opposition, writes Professor Nic Cheeseman. “Unfortunately, colonial era legislation that is still on the books, repressive legislation passed by pliant parliaments, and new social distancing regulations introduced to combat COVID-19  have given an embarrassment of riches when it comes to finding “legal” means through which to enact human rights abuse.  In this way, the law has been weaponised against the opposition”.

Less than a third of Ugandans have confidence in their country’s elections, according to a recent Gallup poll.

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