Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s security forces used strong-arm tactics in the middle of an election Friday, arresting the main opposition candidate, beating protesters and firing tear gas and stun grenades at them in the capital. The United States, which gives financial support to Uganda and helps train its military, was among those condemning the brutal actions. It occurred as voting from Thursday’s election continued in two main districts Friday because ballots and other election materials had not arrived on election day. Early returns Friday put Museveni ahead of opposition leader Kizza Besigye, but votes remained to be cast and counted in Besigye strongholds in this East African nation. With results from about 47 percent of polling stations across the country counted, Museveni had about 63 percent of the vote and Besigye had about 33 percent, the election commission said late Friday. Final results are expected on Saturday.Full Article: Ugandan Forces Use Strong-Arm Tactics Amid Presidential Vote - The New York Times.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Uganda.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni won a fifth term on Saturday, extending his three-decade rule in a vote rejected as fraudulent by an opposition leader under house arrest and criticised by the international community. The veteran 71-year-old won 60 percent of the vote in the sometimes chaotic elections, far ahead of the 35 percent garnered by detained opposition chief Kizza Besigye, whose house was surrounded by dozens of armed police in riot gear. Large numbers of police and troops have been deployed on the streets of the capital Kampala, which appeared calm immediately after the widely expected victory for Museveni was declared. Besigye slammed the results as a fraud, saying in a message to the international community: “Should you ratify the results of these sham elections, at least have the courage to admit that you do not care about democracy or human rights in Africa.”Full Article: Uganda's Museveni wins fifth term, opposition brands vote a 'fraud' - Yahoo News.
Opposition supporters stormed out of a tallying center on Friday amid mounting allegations of vote rigging, as an early count from this week’s disputed election showed Uganda’s authoritarian President Yoweri Museveni on track to extend his three decades in office. Opposition supporters said the partial results showing 62% of the vote going to Mr. Museveni didn’t match results collected at individual polling stations by their operatives. “We know how Ugandans voted, and what is being announced is not what is on the ground,” said Ingrid Turinawe, a spokeswoman for the main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change. “We will not be party to this fraudulent process.” Electoral Commission head Badru Kiggundu rejected the allegations. “We are announcing results as sent to us from the districts,” he said, with about 15% of votes from Thursday’s contest counted. FDC leader Kizza Besigye was in a distant second with about 34% of the vote.Full Article: Uganda Opposition Disputes Election Tally - WSJ.
Ugandans started casting their votes on Thursday to decide whether to give Yoweri Museveni, in power for three decades, another term in office. Voting at most polling stations in the capital, Kampala, was yet to start 90 minutes after the official opening of polling at 7 am local time (0400 GMT), leading to concerns among some voters. “If the voting time is reduced like this there will be many people who will not be able to vote,” said Dickson Mamber, a 34-year-old history teacher, who had been waiting in line for two hours at Muyembe polling station in Kampala. Voting at the station still had not started by 0545 GMT. All sides contesting the election accuse each other of stoking tensions and assembling vigilante groups, and the leading opposition candidates have predicted vote rigging.Full Article: Ugandans start voting for president amid long delays - World | The Star Online.
The arrest of a top presidential candidate has caused outrage in Uganda just days before the country heads to the polls to elect a new president. Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds of opposition supporters who gathered to demand the release of Kizza Besigye who was briefly detained on Monday. “The arrest followed chaotic scenes as Besigye campaigned in parts of Kampala” ahead of Thursday’s election, the state-run New Vision newspaper reported. The three-time presidential candidate who heads the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has been repeatedly arrested in past campaigns, and has been described as current president Yoweri Museveni’s “perennial nemesis”. This year seven opposition candidates are vying to contest Museveni’s attempts to win a fifth term in office, but Besigye’s FDC party officials accused the government of blocking their efforts to address supporters in the city centre.Full Article: Clashes after Ugandan presidential candidate detained days before election | World news | The Guardian.
Ugandan police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a crowd of opposition supporters and briefly arrested a leading opposition candidate on Monday, raising tensions ahead of elections widely seen as close. Ambulances carried the injured after the police used force to break up supporters of presidential candidate Kizza Besigye near Uganda’s Makerere University in the capital. Mr Besigye defied orders to follow a less crowded route to the university, where he had planned to hold a rally so police fired tear gas and shotguns to quell a crowd of his supporters, said Fred Enanga, police spokesman.Full Article: Ugandan opposition leader arrested ahead of Thursday's election - Telegraph.
Uganda’s electoral commission plans to meet with both local and international poll observers on Monday ahead of the February 18 presidential, parliamentary and local elections. The electoral officials say they will brief the poll monitors about preparations made so far to ensure the polls are free, transparent and credible. They also said the electoral commission would seek to inform the poll observers what is expected of them during the elections. The electoral body has so far approved about 2,000 poll observers who would be deployed across the country to monitor the elections. “They have been coming in to pay courtesy calls to also ask a few preliminary questions. They have been around so we think they also have notes they have made through their observations since we accredited them, and on Monday we will share with them and to learn something from them,” said Jotham Taremwa, spokesman for the electoral commission. “Full Article: Uganda Electoral Officials to Meet Poll Observers Ahead of Vote.
With only a week until national elections in Uganda, a number of human rights advocates are concerned about increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the nation’s leaders. Ugandans were shocked last month when Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura was quoted by a local newspaper saying that if the opposition wanted war, they would give crime preventers — a youth force created to supplement the police — guns. Then, not long after, the secretary-general of the ruling NRM party, Kasule Lumumba, was heard on the radio telling citizens the state will “kill your children” should they protest election results. Although both Kayihura and Lumumba say they were misquoted, many feel the official response to these statements has been inadequate.Full Article: Worries Over Violence Cloud Uganda Elections.
With exactly a week to the general election, a Court of Appeal judge has queried what he called a ‘broader’ test for the Supreme Court to annul any contested presidential election. Justice Remmy Kasule wondered why the Parliamentary Elections Act allows court to annul a parliamentary election on a lower test of ‘balance of probabilities’ yet the test of annulling a presidential election has to be to the ‘satisfaction’ of the court, meaning the standard of proof is higher. Alluding to the 2001 and 2006 presidential elections case, Justice Kasule quoted retired Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki and some other justices who held that the then aggrieved candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, had not proved his case to the satisfaction of the court.Full Article: Uganda: Judge Queries Law On Annulling Presidential Elections - allAfrica.com.
One week before Uganda’s February 18 presidential and parliamentary elections, main opposition candidate Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), says he fears voter bribery could be one of the obstacles to his victory. Besigye ran against President Museveni in three previous elections: 2001, 2006, and 2011. Earlier this week, Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), will once again deflate what he called the Besigye “bravado” on election day. Besigye said given the extremely high enthusiasm Ugandans have shown toward his campaign, perhaps Opondo was referring to the three previous elections that, he said, the government stole from him.Full Article: Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory.
Authorities in Uganda have stepped up harassment and intimidation of independent journalists in the run-up to this month’s election as President Yoweri Museveni seeks to extend his 30-year rule, a press freedom campaigner said on Tuesday. Robert Ssempala, national coordinator for Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, (HRNJ-U), told Reuters the government was applying special pressure on journalists in rural areas on which Museveni, 71, depends for much of his support. Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers, is running against veteran opposition figure Kizza Besigye and former prime minister Amama Mbabazi on Feb. 18 in what analysts say could be his toughest challenge.Full Article: Pressure mounts on Ugandan journalists as election nears: campaigner | Reuters.
Uganda has bought anti-riot gear ahead of a Feb. 18 election in a move which police say will bolster security during voting but which critics say aims to intimidate opponents of President Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 30-year rule. Museveni’s two major rivals, Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister and secretary general of the ruling party, have both attracted large crowds and analysts say Museveni faces his toughest challenge yet. Critics have accused him of using violence by security personnel to intimidate opposition supporters, while police have drawn public ire for frequently blocking opposition gatherings or using teargas and sometimes live ammunition to disperse them.Full Article: Uganda police buy anti-riot gear ahead of Museveni's re-election bid | Reuters.
A local NGO, the Human Rights Network-Uganda (HRINET-U) has issued a report citing cases of members from opposition parties who have gone missing, while others who have been arrested have not been charged or been brought before the courts. The report also says security organizations are believed to be favoring incumbent president Museveni. It sites incidents when Uganda’s main opposition leader and flag bearer of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Kizza Besigye, was twice stopped by police on his way to a campaign rally in Kabale district in south western Uganda. The reason the police gave, was that Besigye intended to disrupt business at a market on his way to his campaign venue. Such incidents have raised concerns whether the electoral process will be free and fair.Full Article: Uganda: Fears of violence ahead of elections | Africa | DW.COM | 04.02.2016.
As the only female presidential candidate in Uganda, a male-dominated country where the leader is eyeing a fourth decade in power, Maureen Kyalya admits the odds are stacked against her. “He uses force and intimidation,” said Kyalya, describing her former boss, veteran leader Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking re-election on February 18. Candidates on all sides have raised fears of violence, with accusations of police brutality and recruitment of volunteer police, known as “crime preventers”, as well as claims opposition groups are organising militia forces. “He’s trained people he calls ‘crime preventers’, but their job is to beat everybody senseless to scare them that there’s going to be war, so they vote for him,” Kyalya said.
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo on Monday issued fresh warnings that opposition parties were organising militia gangs and planning to erect road blocks on main roads to “paralyse economic activities” and to “attack several offices of the Electoral Commission”.
On Tuesday, former intelligence chief General David Sejusa, an outspoken critic of Museveni, was charged with taking part in politics against army law and remanded in custody.
With three weeks to go, campaigning is in full swing, but few analysts expect the seven opposition candidates will end Museveni’s 30-year rule.Uganda readies for tense presidential polls, but few doubt winner | News24.
The Ugandan military has detained a general who is a long-time critic of veteran leader Yoweri Museveni, in a move likely to raise tensions in the country in the weeks leading up to a presidential election. David Sejusa, who in 2013 alleged officials were plotting to kill anyone who stood in the way of Museveni transferring power to his son, is is being detained at a military barracks in the capital Kampala and his home was surrounded by military police, his lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi said. Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 30-year rule, is facing perhaps his toughest challenge yet ahead of the 18 February vote, which pits him against long-time opposition leader Kizza Besigye and his ally-turned-rival, Amama Mbabazi.Full Article: Ugandan 'whistleblower' general arrested weeks before presidential election | World news | The Guardian.
The Ugandan Electoral Commission (EC) has announced that it will use electronic systems in the forthcoming General Elections slated for February 18th, 2016. The commission will use a Biometric Voter Verification Kit (BVVK) during the voter verification process and use the Electronic Results Transmission and Dissemination System (ERTDS) to transmit presidential and parliamentary results. Also Read: Don’t feel like doing your laundry? In Kampala, there’s an app for that BVVK is set to authenticate voters’ identify using fingerprints to match the details in the systems in order to improve the management and conduct of the elections, according to a statement by the EC.Full Article: Uganda to introduce technology in February elections.
Uganda’s electoral commission plans to meet next week with representatives of the country’s eight presidential candidates, political parties and stakeholders to explain its decision to use a biometric system to verify voters in the February 18 general election. This would be the first time that the electoral body employs a biometric system, which uses human body characteristics to confirm a person’s identity. Jotham Taremwa, a spokesman for the electoral commission, says the deployment of the biometric verification mechanism at all polling stations across the country will significantly boost the credibility of the presidential, legislative and local elections. The commission has begun training its officers in how to use the system.Full Article: Uganda to Use Biometric Verification Machines for Elections.
The electoral commission of Uganda has issued the final voters list for next year’s general election to all participating presidential candidates and their parties. The country’s electoral law demands the electoral commission present an electronic copy of the voters list to the parties and their candidates after the nomination process. Two weeks before the presidential, parliamentary and local elections, the law requires the electoral commission to issue a paper copy, also called a hard copy, to the candidates.Full Article: Uganda Electoral Commission Issues Final Voters List to Candidates.
Uganda’s Electoral Commission is warning all political parties and civil society groups that they would be flouting the country’s laws if they engage in early political campaigns before an official declaration. “We released a road map clearly ahead of the elections, [and] we indicated activities and their time frame,” said Jotham Taremwa, commission spokesman. Because nominations have not yet been made, “whoever is posing as a candidate is out of order.”Full Article: Uganda Electoral Body Warns Against Early Campaigning.
A prominent opposition leader says Ugandans will no longer tolerate rigged elections, after what he says have been years of voter irregularities and polls that are skewed in favor of President Yoweri Museveni and his ruling National Resistance Movement. Kizza Besigye says there is a need for electoral reforms to ensure an equal playing field for opponents of the NRM before elections are held. Uganda is scheduled to hold a general election next year. But opposition and civil society groups have called for a postponement of the poll until the electoral reforms are implemented to ensure transparent, free, fair and credible future elections.Full Article: Uganda Opposition Wants Electoral Reforms, Vote Postponed.