The spokesperson for Uganda’s government said stability, peace and improved service delivery was, in her words, the trump cards that ensured long-time President Yoweri Museveni’s re-election victory in a vote the opposition dismissed as a sham.
Kabakumba Labwoni Masiko, who also won the Bujenje parliamentary seat, dismissed as ridiculous opposition allegations that both the presidential and parliamentary election was rigged.
“The people of Uganda appreciate what NRM (ruling National Resistance Movement) has done for them. We had a lot of challenges; we had the insurgency in the north, people are living in camps…and several others. But, with internal security in northern Uganda and the whole of Uganda, I think that contributed a lot…the whole country is peaceful,” said Masiko.
“We have also been working as NRM, as government, to ensure that the services reach the people. And, throughout Uganda now, there are special programs for particular places that were marginalized, which are being focused on. So, if you put all these together, I think we have earned our victory as NRM because of our programs that we have had.”
Ugandan election officials reported Sunday Mr. Museveni won with 68 percent of the vote compared to 26 percent for his archrival and former ally, Dr. Kizza Besigye.
Besigye dismissed the election as fraudulent. But, Masiko said the election was free, fair and transparent.
“If anybody is interested in a transparent, peaceful, free and fair election, this is one of them…however, as much as Besigye says that it was rigged the margin was very clear, 68 percent with Besigye 26 percent,” said Masiko.
“I think they (opposition) have not come to terms with the results. But, I know, in time, they will settle down and accept the verdict that has been handed out by the people of Uganda.”
She also challenged the opposition to, in her words, use the systems in Uganda to address their concerns about Friday’s vote.
The victory extends Mr. Museveni’s rule in Uganda to 30 years. Besigye had challenged him for a third time.
Before Friday's election, Besigye accused the government of trying to rig the vote. President Museveni denied the charge.
Ugandans also voted Friday to elect members of parliament. About 14 million Ugandans were registered to vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections.
This is the second election in Uganda since the return of multi-party politics. The first was in 2006 after a referendum in 2005 that returned the country to multi-party politics and removed presidential term limits.