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Early Ugandan Election Results Show Museveni Holding Lead


Early results from Uganda's presidential election show incumbent Yoweri Museveni holding a big lead.

The country's Electoral Commission says that with 16 percent of the votes counted, President Museveni leads main rival Kizza Besigye 60-36 percent.

However, an unofficial vote-count by Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper shows Mr. Museveni with a smaller lead of 51 to 45 percent.

Mr. Besigye's party, the Forum for Democratic Change, has complained of election irregularities and says it may challenge the results in court.

Final results are expected by Saturday. A presidential candidate must win more than 50 percent on the first ballot to avoid a runoff.

Officials say turnout was around 60 percent for Thursday's vote, which marked Uganda's first multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections in 25 years.

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

In the run-up to the vote, Mr. Besigye had to split his time between campaigning and standing trial for treason and other charges that supporters say were trumped-up to hurt him in the poll.

Besides choosing a president, Ugandans voted to fill 284 parliament seats. The United States, Britain, and European Union deployed observers around Uganda to watch polling stations and the vote-counting.

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