Uganda: Bobi Wine says “fraud and violence” marked the election

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Opposition candidate Bobi Wine, the main opponent of outgoing President Yoweri Museveni, said on Friday that the presidential election the day before had been marred “by fraud and violence”, while remaining positive on the “situation”.

The former singer and MP gave no details in this message posted on Twitter, despite the censorship of social networks imposed by the authorities who say that the election took place in peace.

“Despite widespread fraud and violence seen across the country earlier today, the situation still looks good. Thank you to Uganda for coming (…) to vote in record numbers, ”he wrote shortly after midnight.

“The stake is now for Mr. Byabakama (the head of the electoral commission, Editor’s note) and the electoral commission to announce the will of the people”, he added.

Contacted by AFP, Mr. Wine, who said Thursday evening in a previous tweet that his phone was “blocked”, was not immediately reachable to provide details.

Thursday evening, the President of the Electoral Commission, Simon Byabakama estimated that the vote “generally took place in peace throughout the country”, which was also confirmed the spokesman of the police, Fred Enanga.

This presidential and legislative election, placed under close surveillance, took place with little or no access to the internet, largely disrupted, nor to social networks and messaging services, suspended since Tuesday.

The 18 million Ugandan voters (out of a total population of 44 million) were called upon to decide between Mr Wine, who at 38 became the main opposition candidate, and Mr Museveni, who is running after 35 years in power for a sixth mandate, at the end of a particularly violent electoral campaign.

The latter was punctuated by arrests and riots, and bereaved by dozens of deaths. In mid-November, at least 54 people were killed by police in violence triggered by yet another arrest of Mr. Wine, who have been apprehended many times since 2018.

On Thursday, Mr. Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, claimed that several election observers from his party were arrested in the morning and denounced the malfunctions of certain biometric machines used to verify the identity of voters.

The results of the election will be known “by Saturday 4:00 pm”, according to the electoral commission.

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