Uganda’s President Museveni has early lead in election, preliminary results show

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Nevin Al Sukari – Sana'a – An election official shows a ballot after polling stations closed during the presidential elections in Kampala, Uganda, January 14, 2021. — Reuters pic

KAMPALA, Jan 15 — Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni took an early lead in the presidential election race, according to preliminary results released this morning by the electoral commission.

With 13.6 per cent of votes counted, Museveni had won 1,536,205 votes, or 65.0 per cent, while main opposition candidate Bobi Wine had 647,146 (27.4 per cent), the commission said.

Wine, a singer-turned-lawmaker who has galvanised young Ugandans with his call for change, said in a tweet early today that he was confident of victory despite “widespread fraud and violence” during the poll. He gave no further details.

Museveni, who has led the East African country with a population of nearly 46 million for 34 years, had not made any statement by 10.30am (0730 GMT).

On Wednesday, the government ordered an internet blackout until further notice, a day after banning all social media and messaging apps.

The election campaign was marred by deadly crackdowns by security forces on opposition candidates and their supporters.

Uganda’s normally bustling capital Kampala was quiet today, a public holiday after yesterday’s poll, with shops mostly closed. Soldiers patrolled on foot in the rain in a suburb visited by Reuters.

Commission head Simon Byabakama assured the nation on live TV yesterday evening after polls closed that results were arriving at the national tally centre despite the nationwide internet blackout.

“We are not using local internet to transmit our results, we are using our own system,” he said, without giving details of that system. “Don’t worry, results will come.” — Reuters

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