News / Africa

Uganda’s Museveni Wins Re-election As Opposition Cries Foul

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Douglas Mpuga

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has been declared the winner of Friday’s presidential poll. Mr. Museveni’s win gives him another five year elective term, setting the incumbent on course to lead Uganda for a cumulative 30 years since 1986.

The Electoral Commission said Museveni won with 68.38% of the vote.

But the main opposition candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye has rejected the results and described the elections as a sham.

“Well, no surprises at all. We have just concluded what we always knew was a sham election,” said Dr Besigye, the flag bearer for the Inter Party Cooperation (IPC) a four-party coalition, and the president of the Forum for Democratic Change party (FDC).

He said IPC made all arrangements to safeguard the opposition votes but the kind of electoral abuses and malpractices were of such a nature that “our protective mechanisms were simply rendered useless.”

“We completely reject the outcome of the elections and any government that will be formed out of this election,” said Besigye.

He noted that many of the declaration of results forms could not be retrieved by agents of the opposition as they were denied access making it difficult to tally the votes at the IPC tally center.

Besigye reiterated his position that he will not go to court to challenge the results of the elections. “We have been in court twice and proved our case. In the last (2006) election the court was unequivocal that the election was not free and fair. Nonetheless, the election was not cancelled.”

There will be no purpose at all, he said, “to seek court intervention when even the courts have been made less credible by the recent appointments.”

Besigye said the people of Uganda have a duty to end electoral abuse and bring back the country to constitutional rule. “We are going to do this through all possible avenues available to us within the constitutional framework rather than going to the courts of law.”

He did not rule out street protests as has happened elsewhere, especially in North Africa.

This is the second multi-party elections in Uganda since amendment of the 1995 Constitution in 2005 and also the second time since then to hold both presidential and parliamentary votes on the same day.

Kampala was calm but tense Sunday with visible military presence in the city and its suburbs. Mr Museveni has vowed to stop any street protests.

Mr Besigye and Mr Museveni were allies in the guerrilla war which brought the latter to power in 1986, but they later fell out.

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