World news – Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni extends 35-year rule with controversial election victory

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Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, the electoral commission announced on Saturday, and extended his 35-year term following a poll that, according to his main competitor, has been compromised by fraud.

The 76-year-old leader who Took power in 1986, is one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents. He was accused of crushing the opposition and the media ahead of one of the most violent election campaigns in recent years.

Museveni won with 58.6 percent of the vote, beating 38-year-old former ragga singer Bobi Wine, who sparked a youth population three-quarters under 30 years of age.

Wine was closely guarded at his home on the outskirts of Kampala when the results were announced. His party said he was under « effective house arrest ». The government said it was only offering him security.

The singer who had become a member of parliament was among 10 opposition candidates and took second place with 34.8 percent of the vote.

« The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni … to be President of the Republic of Uganda elected, « said the chairman of the electoral commission, Judge Simon Mugenyi Byabakama.

After the announcement, security forces streamed onto the streets of Kampala. A soldier on an armored personnel carrier urged citizens to maintain social distance while a helicopter hummed overhead.

Pictures on state television showed cheering Museveni supporters in his home district waving flags and cheering while soldiers in the Capital helped motorcyclists in a parade – they gave them yellow vests and Museveni posters.

In a long-range speech on state television following the announcement, Museveni thanked his supporters, saying that « the only thing to avoid is violence is « .

 » I think this could turn out to be the most cheat-free election since 1962, « he said when the country gained independence.

However, the elections were marked by harassment and arrest of the opposition, attacks on the media and the death of at least 54 people.

The spokeswoman for the US State Department, Morgan Ortagus, praised the Ugandans on Saturday for their vote « despite e in an environment of intimidation and fear « .

She added that the US was » deeply concerned about the many credible reports of violence by security forces during the primary period and electoral irregularities during the election « .

Wein alleged widespread Fraud like filling the ballot box and said his party agents had been beaten in some places and chased out of polling stations.

« Whatever is declared is a total deception, we reject it and distance ourselves from it, » he said on Friday.

Wein’s house remained cordoned off by soldiers and police on Saturday after he told AFP on Friday evening that security forces broke the fence around him and he felt he was under « siege ».

The National Unity spokesman However, Wine Platform (NUP) Joel Ssenyonyi told AFP Bobi Wine « was under effective house arrest ».

« People are angry because their voice has been stolen. They don’t need me or Bobi Wine to tell them to get angry, « Ssenyonyi said. » We can’t control them either. « 

Tibor Nagy, the leading US diplomat for Africa, tweeted the Voting was « fundamentally flawed », referring to the denial of accreditation of election observers and « violence and harassment of opposition figures ».

The internet has been inaccessible for four days and government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said the measure was due to « Abuse, abuse, disinformation, fake news has been taken with the general aim of undermining the integrity of the electoral process including the results … and possibly. » Causing destabilization « .

He said the internet would be restored as soon as the Threat is over, possibly on Monday morning.

Museveni has ruled Uganda without a break since he came to power in 1986, when he contributed to the longstanding Tyr Annei under Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

The former rebel leader, who was once celebrated for his commitment to good governance, has crushed any opposition and adjusted the constitution so that he can run again and again.

For many in the country where the median age is 16 and most only know one president, Museveni’s fame days are no longer relevant or sufficient.

Wine, with its humble origins in a slum and popular songs about economic and social injustice, hit young people. But observers said the odds were stacked against him as Museveni had a strong grip on the state.

However, Wine’s newly formed NUP is well on its way to becoming the main opposition party in parliament, and eight out of nine constituencies in particular in the capital, Kampala.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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