Museveni Secures Fifth Term As Uganda President
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni extended his three-decade stint in power with a fifth term on Saturday, following Thursday’s eventful elections.
The president secured z`60 percent of the votes poll officials revealed on Saturday, while his closest rival Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party got 35%. The opposition party has called the results fraudulent with Besigye himself under house arrest.
Mostly peaceful elections, results questioned
President Museveni was resolute that violence would not be tolerated during the elections and the process was indeed mostly peaceful. Large groups of voters were left frustrated by long delays in setting up ballots and there were some clashes with police, but the EU has praised Ugandan voters for their determination and patience.
The delays have prompted questions about transparency, adding to a list of various incidents that bring Uganda’s election process under scrutiny. A large-scale social media blackout was in effect on Thursday with Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp all being blocked.
In terms of the electoral process itself, EU polls observers have revealed only 10 out of 42 tally centres observed were able to demonstrate a tallying process that met the expected standards of transparency. Furthermore, five percent of all votes cast were eventually declared invalid.
Situation remains tense
Despite a largely peaceful election, the situation in Uganda has been described as tense by various sources – particularly in the capital Kampala. Teargas has been used against crowds in multiple locations, while the FDC has described the election results as “part of a creeping political coup d’état.”
Troops were deployed around Kisekka Market in the capital’s centre, where opposition candidate Kizza Besigye was arrested. Tension broke out after police broke into the offices of the FDC and stopped the leader from taking a press conference.
The army was then deployed after people reportedly deflated the tires of a police vehicle. Officers tearga and left the vehicle behind before troops came in to disperse the crowd.