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Polls Close in Uganda's First Multi-Party Elections in 25 Years


The polls have officially closed in Uganda's first multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections in 25 years.

At closing time Wednesday, long lines remained at several polling stations. Officials said people already in line at closing would be allowed to vote.

The voting was peaceful, as Ugandans chose between five presidential candidates, including incumbent Yoweri Museveni and main opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

Mr. Besigye's party, the Forum for Democratic Change, complained of widespread election irregularities and accused government troops of intimidating voters through massive security deployments.

Election officials denied serious problems, although there were media reports of voters' names missing from registries.

Mr. Museveni was favored in opinion polls over Mr. Besigye, who split time between campaigning and standing trial for treason, rape and other charges which he says were trumped up to hurt him in the election.

Election results are expected on Saturday.

Mr. Museveni is seeking to extend a 20-year stay in power that critics say has become increasingly autocratic.

The United States and Britain are deploying observers around Uganda to watch polling stations and the vote-counting.

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala warned of potential unrest during the election period and says Americans in Uganda should exercise caution.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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