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Elections in Uganda

Electoral officials declared on the 16th of January that Yoweri Museveni has been re-elected as President of Uganda in an election with almost 18 million people who registered to vote. Receiving almost 57% of the votes with his main rival Bobi Wine receiving 35% of the votes, he is due to start his sixth term as President of Uganda. Changes had to be made to allow him to continue running for office. Museveni has been in power since 1986, the same year an armed uprising took place after decades of civil war. He claims to represent security and economic stability and has also been portrayed as a liberator, which helps him win votes.

Bobi Wine is a former pop star and with just 38 years of age is a lot younger than 76-year-old President Museveni. He says that he represents the younger generation. After the results were announced, he accused Museveni of cheating. This may sound like he is just a bad loser, but the Ugandan government did shut down the internet ahead of the voting day, an action which was condemned by election monitors. As the results started coming in on Friday, Bobi Wine claims that Ugandan soldiers surrounded his home, a statement which a government spokesman described as “dramatized.” Furthermore, a lot of Wine’s key advisers had either been arrested or are in hiding. There was also a lot of violence leading up to the election. Dozens of people were killed, and opposition politicians accused the government of harassment.

Meanwhile Museveni said that the vote had been peaceful and described the election as possibly being the “most cheating free” in the history of the continent of Africa. He also declared that “foreign meddling will not be tolerated” as the EU, the UN and several other rights groups raised concerns.

Bobi Wine announced that he rejects the results and will continue to present evidence of voter intimidation and rigging. His party — the National Unity Platform (NUP) — is expected to be the biggest opposition party in parliament, campaigning for basic needs such as access to healthcare, clean water, and education. Since then, another opposition party (Forum for Democratic Change) has also called the election “fraudulent.”

Sources

“Uganda: Veteran Leader Yoweri Museveni Declared Election Winner.” BBC News, BBC, 16 Jan. 2021, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55689665.

Kiruga, Morris. “Uganda Elections: Museveni Wins, Bobi Wine the Rising Power in Parliament.” The Africa Report.com, The Africa Report, 17 Jan. 2021, http://www.theafricareport.com/59593/uganda-elections-museveni-wins-bobi-wine-the-new-power-in-parliament/.

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