Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (popularly known as, Bobi Wine), the National Unity Platform’s flagbearer has rejected early results from the January 14 Uganda Presidential Elections.
With 29.4% of votes from Thursday’s ballot counted, Museveni had won 1,852,263 votes, or 63.9%, while opposition candidate Bobi Wine had 821,874 (28.4%).
The 76-year-old President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni of the National Resistance Movement says he is standing for stability, calling Kyagulanyi “a product of the West.”
He has pledged to concede if the election remains free and fair.
The ‘former’ Freedom fighter Museveni, took over office on January 29, 1986 through armed uprising and returned the country to democratic mandate in 1996, winning and commencing his first of five terms.
His main challenger, Wine, 38, has gone through heavy campaigns, galvanising young Ugandans via the thrust of the social media to seek political change.
The election campaign was marred by deadly crackdowns by security forces on opposition candidates and their supporters.
The singer-turned-lawmaker insists there has been widespread voter fraud, but hoped that the will of the people be declared.
Hello Uganda! Despite the wide spread fraud and violence experienced across the country earlier today, the picture still looks good. Thank you Uganda for turning up and voting in record numbers. The challenge now is for Mr. Byabakama and the EC to declare the will of the People.
The East African nation has one of the world’s youngest population with about 47.41% under 15 years old.
The Uganda Communications Commission shut down the internet on the eve of election, in a move many see as a way of compromising the vote.
Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine on Friday claimed victory in a Presidential Election, rejecting early results which gave President Yoweri Museveni a wide lead as a “joke”.
“I am very confident that we defeated the dictator by far. I call upon all Ugandans to reject the blackmail. We have certainly won the election and we’ve won it by far,” he told journalists.
The 38-year-old former ragga singer turned politician has been the main rival to Uganda’s veteran leader who has been in power since 1986 and is seeking a sixth term in office.
“The people of Uganda voted massively for change of leadership from a dictatorship to a democratic government. But Mr. Museveni is trying to paint a picture that he is in the lead. What a joke!” said Wine.
He said the election was marred by “illegal, high handed actions which Museveni and his regime of blood have undertaken to set stage for the worst rigging this country has even witnessed.”
He said he would detail the irregularities once the internet was restored.
We are winning,” he said.
“We are putting every legal, every constitutional and every non-violent option on the table,” Wine told Reuters. “I will be happy to share the videos of all the fraud and irregularities as soon as the internet is restored.”
As votes continued to be counted, Wine has indicated he is under siege.
We are under siege. The military has jumped over the fence and has now taken control of our home.
None of these military intruders is talking to us. We are in serious trouble. We are under seige.
Uganda Electoral Commission head, Simon Byabakama, assured the nation on live TV on Thursday evening after polls closed that results were arriving at the national tally centre despite the nationwide internet blackout.
“We are not using local internet to transmit our results, we are using our own system,’’ he said, without giving details of that system.
“Don’t worry, results will come,’’ Byabakama added.
The United States and the European Union cancelled its observation of Thursday’s election.
Sadly, I announce USA’s decision not to observe #Uganda’s elections due to @UgandaEC’s decision to deny more than 75% of our accreditation requests. A robust contingent of observers, including local entities, promotes transparency & accountability.
However, the African Union and the East African Community sent delegates to observe the election.
18 million registered voters took part in the polls which seek to elect a President and the Parliament.