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Unrest in Uganda as opposition reject result of presidential election

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Unrest in Uganda as opposition reject result of presidential election
  • Musaveni in power since 1986
  • Given another five-year term
  • Opposition figures arrested
  • Observers criticise the poll

The news

Police and soldiers are on the streets of Uganda after a presidential election overshadowed by the arrest of politicians and widespread claims of vote-rigging.

Opposition supporters began disputing the result of the presidential poll before it was officially announced.

Ugandans also voted in parliamentary and local elections.

Election officials say incumbent Yoweri Musaveni has been reelected with more than 60 percent of the vote.

The 71-year-old, who has governed the land-locked East African country for 30 years, gets another five-year term.

Closest rival under house arrest

Musaveni’s closest rival Kizza Besigye has got around 35 percent of the vote.

The 59-year-old was arrested by security forces just before the result was declared.

He rejected the result and described the election as a “sham”.

Other opposition figures have also been detained.

An ‘intimidating’ atmosphere

EU election observers described the atmosphere as “intimidating”.

“According to our assessment, the electoral commission lacks independence, transparency and the trust of the stakeholders,” the head of the EU observers mission Eduard Kukan told reporters.

What they are saying

“We have just witnessed what must be the most fraudulent electoral process in Uganda,”Kizza Besigye, main opposition candidate.

“State actors created an intimidating atmosphere for both voters and candidates.” – EU Mission Chief Observer Eduard Kukan.

“The poll falls short of meeting some key democratic benchmarks.”Commonwealth observers

“We are disappointed, the election has been rigged. I have never seen another president and it seems it will be like that until he dies.” – 23-year-old Brenda, Kampala.