KAMPALA, 16 January 2021 – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has won re-election for a record sixth presidential term, the country’s electoral commission said Saturday.
“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni… elected President of the Republic of Uganda,” the chair of the country’s election commission, Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, announced Saturday.
Museveni, in power since 1986, won nearly 59 percent of the vote to earn another five years in power.
Museveni’s main challenger, pop star turned politician, Bobi Wine, finished in runner-up position with a little less than 35 percent of the votes cast.
The opposition led by Bobi Wine, has alleged vote rigging, which the electoral commission denies.
Bobi Wine promised Saturday he will provide proof of vote rigging in the ballot held Thursday in the midst of an Internet shutdown, with social media platforms unaccessible across the country.
In announcing the results, Byabakama invited Bobi Wine to make public any evidence he has of fraud.
“I will be happy to share the videos of all the fraud and irregularities as soon as the internet is restored,” Bobi Wine said.
The electoral commission said turnout was 57 percent of the 18.1 million registered voters.
The campaign was marred by violence with no fewer than 50 people shot dead by riot police officers in the capital, Kampala.
Opposition candidates had their rallies banned, disrupted and their supporters arrested or molested.
Several of the eleven challengers of the 76-year-old Museveni – one of them a woman – were intimidated, harassed, arrested and/or briefly detained in the course of the campaign.
Bobi Wine, 38, said his home was breached by government security forces on Friday surrounded his home and breached it before the results were announced.
A day before the ballot, the private security company that had guarded the home of the pop star was ordered to drop him as a client.
Election observers accredited by the European Union did not get accredited and the United States cancelled its observer mission to the ballot, alleging that a majority of the staff it was assigning was not granted permission to monitor the election.
The US Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown on Thursday expressed concern that the absence of Western observers would cast doubt on the credibility of the outcome.
The African Union and the East African Community, which field observer missions, have not yet issued reports.