A polling agent from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party celebrates the victory of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in the concluded general elections in Kampala, Uganda January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Uganda’s Museveni Declared Winner Of Disputed Presidential Election

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Uganda Election Commission has declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni the winner of the Thursday presidential election.

Chairman of the commission, Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, said Museveni won 5.85 million votes, or 58.64 percent, while main opposition candidate Bobi Wine got 3.48 million votes or 34.83 percent.

“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni… elected President of the Republic of Uganda,” he said.

He said turnout was 57.22 per cent of the almost 18 million registered voters.

Byabakama urged the population to “remain calm and accept the outcome of these elections” while reminding those celebrating to be mindful of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Museveni has ruled Uganda without pause since seizing control in 1986 when he helped end years of tyranny under Idi Amin and Milton Obote. He is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

Once hailed for his commitment to good governance, the former rebel leader has crushed any opposition and tweaked the constitution to allow himself to run again and again.

Wine, 38, meanwhile was on track to see his newly formed National Unity Platform (NUP) become the main opposition party in Parliament, notably winning eight of nine constituencies in the capital Kampala.

The poll followed one of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media and the deaths of at least 54 people.

Thursday’s election took place in an apparent calm but under soldiers’ oppressive presence and riot police and an internet blackout that entered its fourth day.

However, Wine has alleged widespread fraud such as ballot-box stuffing and said his party agents had in some places been beaten and chased away from polling stations.

Whatever is being declared is a complete sham, we reject it, and we dissociate ourselves with it,” he said on Friday.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, promised to provide video evidence once the internet was restored.

Election commission chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said: “The onus is on candidate Kyagulanyi to show how votes are rigged.

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