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Unrest in Uganda as opposition reject result of presidential election

Unrest in Uganda as opposition reject result of presidential election
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By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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Yoweri Musaveni granted another five-year term amid unrest, opposition arrests and widespread claims of vote-rigging

  • Musaveni in power since 1986
  • Given another five-year term
  • Opposition figures arrested
  • Observers criticise the poll

The news

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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.

Scenes frm Kampala streets after the declaration of the presidential election results #UgandaDecidespic.twitter.com/uvJuLS1OnM

— Sadab Kitatta (@sadabkitatta1) February 20, 2016

US embassy in Uganda tells its citizens to “stay off” Kampala's streets over police action https://t.co/81ivoorgm4pic.twitter.com/jRJcB7OnnJ

— BBC Africa (@BBCAfrica) February 19, 2016

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

Ugandans also voted in parliamentary and local elections.

#UgandaElections Line up to vote in presidential and parliamentary polls in Kampala #AFP Photo by CarldeSouza1</a> <a href="https://t.co/QEC1UHntt5">pic.twitter.com/QEC1UHntt5</a></p>&mdash; Aurelia BAILLY (AureliaBAILLY) February 18, 2016

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

Yoweri Museveni declared winner of Ugandan presidential elections, extending 30-year rule https://t.co/OQPB2ellJ9pic.twitter.com/wSHhnq3whc

— ITV News (@itvnews) February 20, 2016

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

Burning of tyres in streets; Chaos in Kampala as #BesigyeArrested#UgandaDecidespic.twitter.com/PjN8a1Di0z

— Prosper Ahimbisibwe™ (@Prosper_MED) February 19, 2016

Worried of losing, Museveni won't let main Uganda opposition candidate campaign in Kampala. https://t.co/rwavvHvf2Opic.twitter.com/c46HzsKnoa

— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) February 15, 2016

Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye arrested again as tense vote count continues. https://t.co/lnAUVdgwb5pic.twitter.com/QpZxNFjSIM

— AJE News (@AJENews) February 19, 2016

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”.

#UPDATE: Uganda's Museveni eyes win as police surround opposition leader's home https://t.co/bfE7ivpyzh#Ugandapic.twitter.com/TX8AVQ5l4t

— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 20, 2016

Other opposition figures have also been detained.

An ‘intimidating’ atmosphere

EU election observers described the atmosphere as “intimidating”.

#EUEduardKukan</a> met with international election observation missions <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Commonwealth?src=hash">#Commonwealth</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AU?src=hash">#AU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EISA?src=hash">#EISA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EAC?src=hash">#EAC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IGAD?src=hash">#IGAD</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COMESA?src=hash">#COMESA</a> <a href="https://t.co/xcVH88zGLP">pic.twitter.com/xcVH88zGLP</a></p>&mdash; EU EOM Uganda 2016 (eueomuganda) February 19, 2016

“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.

It's no surprise that Museveni won #UgandaDecides. But the elections show that the NRM faces major challenges ahead: https://t.co/oeyy4t5dUM

— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) February 20, 2016

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.

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