Uganda’s longtime leader, President Yoweri Museveni, is ahead in an initial tally of ballots cast. His main rival, Bobi Wine, says the vote was marred by “widespread fraud.”
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is leading in the country’s presidential election, according to provisional results released on Friday.
With around a quarter of votes counted, Museveni has 65% so far. His main rival Bobi Wine is trailing with 27%.
The musician-turned-politician claimed the election had been marred by “widespread fraud.”
He later went further at a press conference, claiming victory and rejecting the early 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,” Wine told journalists.
The 38-year-old musician said he had filmed proof of fraud during voting, and that he wanted a peaceful outcome to the vote.
Wine had taken to Twitter late on Thursday to denounce the vote and said there had been “violence experienced across the country.”
His statement, posted as the country entered the third day of a state-imposed internet blackout, contradicts the government’s official account that polling passed off peacefully.
The capital Kampala was quiet and some businesses remained closed, while soldiers and police patrolled on foot the day after the election, the AFP news agency reported.
Final results are expected to be announced on Saturday. The US, EU, and the UN have all questioned whether the election will be free or fair.
Why is the situation tense?
Museveni, a former guerilla commander who came to power in 1986, changed the constitution in 2019 to allow him to run for a sixth five-year term.
Wine, who became an MP in 2017, argued the long-serving leader could not offer the change that Uganda’s youth demand as the East African nation grapples with high unemployment.
The pop star says his supporters will demonstrate peacefully if they believe the election has been stolen.
But the incumbent president warned Wine to stay off the streets.
“If you use violence to protest against an election result, that is treason,” Museveni said in a national address Tuesday.
The opposition frontrunner wore a bulletproof vest for much of the campaign.
Protests In November at one of his numerous arrests by authorities turned violent, leaving 54 people dead.
jf/rt (AFP, Reuters)