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Violence and vote rigging threatens Ugandan ballot

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Violence and vote rigging threatens Ugandan ballot


Uganda prepares to go the polls with incumbant president Yoweri Museveni seeking a fifth term in office.

The 71-year-old, an ally of the West, came to power in 1986 and oversees a nation where 64 percent of the working age population under 24 are without jobs, the African Development Bank puts the number at 83 percent.

This time round Museveni faces a tougher task with opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who has lost the three previous elections, claiming the “the overwhelming enthusiasm for change” has spooked Museveni and will result in a rigged vote.

The three main candidates Museveni, Besigye and former prime minister Amama Mbabazi have all staged final campaign rallies ahead of Thursday’s ballot.

Dr Ndebesa Nyamwasya is a political commentator and sees the potential for violence: “Would there be post election violence? There is a likelihood of that taking place. The electoral commission in Uganda, which is in charge of managing the election, is not trusted by the opposition, The results of the election may not be accepted by the opposition in case they lose.”

Even before any vote has taken place police fired teargas at a campaign rally held by Besigye and briefly held the challenger.

One person was killed and 19 injured.

Police reported that Besigye supporters had been on the rampage looting and damaging property.

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