Uganda’s Museveni Wins Disputed Polls

Uganda’s Museveni Wins Disputed PollsUganda’s Museveni Wins Disputed Polls

Long-time Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni was on Saturday declared the winner of the country’s disputed presidential election, but his main rival rejected the results as fraudulent and called for an independent audit of the count.

Museveni got more than 60% of the votes and his nearest rival Kizza Besigye got 35%, according to final results announced by the election commission.

Besigye was under house arrest as Museveni was declared the winner, with heavily armed police standing guard near his residence on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala. In a video obtained by AP, Besigye said he rejects the results.

“We knew right from the beginning the electoral commission that was organizing and managing these elections was a partisan, incompetent and discredited body as from the previous elections,” Besigye said.

“We knew that the military and security organizations were going to be engaged in a partisan and unfair way like they did in the past.”

Besigye urged the international community to reject the official tally.

The capital was calm following the announcement of results amid a heavy security presence.

Museveni’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement, urged “all candidates to respect the will of the people and the authority of the electoral commission and accept the result. We ask all Ugandans to remain calm and peaceful and not to engage in any public disruptions.”

The voting on Thursday was marred by lengthy delays in the delivery of polling materials, some incidents of violence as well as a government shutdown of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, which remained inaccessible on Saturday.

The election was marked by an “intimidating atmosphere, which was mainly created by state actors,” said the European Union observer mission.

“Uganda’s election commission lacks independence and transparency and does not have the trust of all the parties,” EU mission leader Eduard Kukan told reporters on Saturday.

Opposition supporters were harassed by law-enforcement officials in more than 20 districts, according to the EU’s preliminary report.