President Yoweri Museveni has been re-elected for a sixth term with 58.64% of the vote, the electoral commission said on Saturday, as rival opponent Bobi Wine alleged widespread fraud a day earlier and said citizens should reject the result.
Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, won 34.83% of the vote, according to the commission.
Museveni,76, has been in power for 35 years and campaigned for another term arguing his long experience makes him a good leader although he said in an exclusive interview, “If I lost a fair election, I will accept the results, of course, because Uganda is not my house. If the people of Uganda don’t want me to help them with their issues, I will go and deal with my personal issues very happily,”
The pop-star turned politician Wine,38, appealed to young Ugandans and pledged to end what he calls dictatorship and widespread corruption.
Wine on Friday claimed victory in the presidential elections, rejecting as a “complete sham” early results that gave Museveni a wide lead. On Friday, Wine also said his life was in danger as his home was taken “under siege” by the military.
He told journalists soldiers had beaten his security guard before taking up position around his house. He also alleged that his phone was blocked and his internet connection cut for some time as security forces burst into his home the day after polls opened.
Kampala Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigire said Wine was not under arrest on National Television insisting that they just provided security in the area and nothing more. Owoyesigire said state security was responding in an effort to secure Wine’s residence and protect the candidate after two individuals were seen trying to gain access to the house by jumping the fence, adding one of the individuals had been arrested.
Voter turnout was at 57.22%, during which the authorities suspended access to the Internet and social networks, after a particularly violent campaign.
Wine said on Friday he had video proof of voting fraud and would share the videos when internet connections are restored.
The US, EU, UN and global rights and democracy groups have raised concerns about the integrity and transparency of the election. The EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the commission rejected its offer of monitors, despite having observed three elections between 2006 and 2016. “The excessive use of force by law enforcement and security agencies has seriously tarnished this electoral process,” Borrell added.
The United States, a major aid donor to Uganda, cancelled a diplomatic observer mission after too many of its staff were denied permission to monitor the election. US Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown said in a statement Wednesday that US monitors would not observe the vote as hoped after the election commission denied 75% of the country’s accreditation requests.
Besides an African Union mission, there was no major international group watching over the vote.
The poll followed one of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media and scores of deaths. Dozens of people were reportedly killed in the months running up to the vote, including 45 who died in protests in November 2020 alone, after Wine was arrested for allegedly breaking Covid-19 restrictions.
Two days of protests in November led to the deaths of 54 people.