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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has received a sixth time period in workplace, combating off a problem by former singer Bobi Wine — who was only a baby when Museveni got here into energy again in 1986. Wine’s run drew many younger Ugandans to concentrate to politics.
The nation’s electoral fee introduced on Saturday that Museveni obtained 58% of the vote to 34% for Wine, in keeping with the Related Press. However Wine is alleging that votes have been rigged, as election officers face questions over how outcomes have been tallied amid an web blackout, in keeping with the AP.
Forward of the vote, Museveni’s authorities shut down social media retailers in Uganda, from Fb and Instagram to Twitter. It additionally despatched army autos into the streets.
Troopers and police have been out in drive within the capital of Kampala on Saturday. In an interview with NPR, Wine mentioned that safety forces weren’t permitting anybody in or out of his house, and he urged Ugandans to reject the outcomes.
In a sequence of tweets, the highest U.S. diplomat to Africa, Tibor Nagy, referred to as Uganda’s electoral course of “fundamentally flawed,” citing “authorities’ denial of accreditation to election observers, violence and harassment of opposition figures” and the arrest of civil service group employees.
“We proceed to induce restraint and rejection of violence by all actors as Uganda’s election outcomes are introduced,” mentioned Nagy. “The rapid and full restoration of Web connectivity is crucial. The U.S. response hinges on what the Ugandan authorities does now.”
Wine, 38, is half Museveni’s age. Each males forged their ballots on Thursday, becoming a member of tens of millions of different voters in Uganda. The election has been intently watched due to Wine’s attraction to youthful voters — an important power in a rustic with one of many youngest populations on the planet, the place more than two-thirds of the population is under age 30.
By taking up Museveni, Wine sought to interchange certainly one of Africa’s longest-tenured leaders with certainly one of its youngest, hoping to make a generational shift that will be felt throughout the continent.
Born Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, Wine turned a pop star with music that blends Afrobeat with sounds borrowed from reggae and dancehall. He then turned towards politics, successful a seat in parliament. Final yr, he launched a brand new tune and video, during which he urged folks to take the COVID-19 pandemic significantly.
Museveni responded to Wine’s election problem by ordering a crackdown that has included quite a few detentions of his opponent’s marketing campaign workers. This week, Wine said the military had killed his driver and that his house was raided. Wine himself was arrested in November, sparking massive protests throughout which dozens of individuals died.
Museveni recently told NPR that he views pro-Wine demonstrators as “brokers of international schemes.” The president additionally insisted that Wine has been repeatedly arrested not due to his political concepts however “for rioting and inflicting hazard to different folks.”
A recent Gallup poll discovered that solely round a 3rd of respondents in Uganda mentioned they’re assured within the honesty of their nation’s elections.
In 2016, questions in regards to the equity of Uganda’s election course of drove opposition candidate Kizza Besigye to name a information convention to dispute the outcomes – however he was detained by police in his election headquarters within the capital, Kampala, earlier than he may start talking.
This week, as ballots have been being counted and the result of the 2021 vote hung within the stability, there have been worries about what a transition of leaders may appear to be within the former British colony. As Gallup notes, “Uganda has by no means witnessed a peaceable switch of energy since gaining its independence in 1962.”
Eyder Peralta contributed to this report from Uganda.