World, Africa

Ugandan opposition claim Thursday vote was rigged

After Thursday polls, opposition figure Bobi Wine says he is under siege by military forces which took control of his house

Hassan Isilow   | 15.01.2021
Ugandan opposition claim Thursday vote was rigged

JOHANNESBURG

Some opposition presidential candidates in Uganda are claiming the just-concluded polls were not credible, alleging incidents of vote rigging.

Main opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a pop star-turned-politician popularly known by his stage name Bobi Wine, on Friday contested the preliminary election results.

Wine, 38, told reporters he believes the internet and social media shutdown imposed by the government on Wednesday was aimed at compromising the vote by blocking the immediate reporting of results at polling centers.

Ugandans cast their ballots Thursday in a peaceful general election that will see a new president, members of parliament, and local government representatives.

Nine candidates ran against the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, 76, for the presidency.

Complaining of “widespread fraud and violence,” Wine tweeted that still, “the picture still looks good. Thank you Uganda for turning up and voting in record numbers. The challenge now is for [electoral commission head Mugenyi] Mr. Byabakama and the EC to declare the will of the People.”

Independent presidential candidate Henry Tumukunde also told local television about the election: “This is a seriously compromised exercise.”

The former security minister claimed the indelible ink put on the thumbs of people who voted could easily be washed away with alcohol-based sanitizers, allowing people to vote multiple times.

Tumukunde, who served under the incumbent Museveni’s government for many years, alleged this was tantamount to deliberate vote rigging.

But Byabakama asked Wine to provide evidence that there was indeed any vote rigging.

Wine also tweeted: “We are under siege. The military has jumped over the fence and has now taken control of our home.”

He added: “None of these military intruders is talking to us. We are in serious trouble.”

Incumbent Museveni enjoys early win

According to partial results from Uganda’s electoral commission the incumbent Museveni won with 2.2 million votes, giving him 65% of the vote, followed by Wine with 27.56% and 941,068 votes. There were more than 18 million registered voters. The contest has now narrowed down to the two candidates.

If Museveni, who has been in power since 1986 is declared winner, he will be on track to rule Uganda for a total of four decades. Completed results are expected over the weekend or early next week.

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