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Uganda's long-serving Museveni wins fresh term

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, has won a fourth term in office by a huge margin, although the opposition and international observers questioned the election outcome.

President Yoweri Museveni in his trademark hat

Museveni has served 25 years as president

The Ugandan electoral commission announced on Sunday that Yoweri Museveni had won 68 percent of the presidential vote, well ahead of his closest challenger, Kizza Besigye with 26 percent. Turnout was 59 percent of Uganda's roughly 14 million registered voters.

Museveni now has the mandate to serve another five-year term, having held the office of president for the past 25 years.

However, European Union election observers said that what they called an unnecessary military presence on polling day on Friday had created an uneasy, intimidating atmosphere.

Badru Kiggundu, chairman of Uganda's electoral commission, urged the opposition to accept defeat honorably and to "remain within the legal provisions."

Yellow-shirted Museveni supporters in Uganda

Museveni's supporters were out in force on election day

Besigye has already alleged that huge sums had been used to buy votes and to bribe polling agents, parliamentary candidates and electoral officials.

"An election conducted in this environment cannot reflect the will of the people. We therefore ... reject the outcome of the election and reject the leadership of Mr Yoweri Museveni," Besigye told a news conference. He warned that Uganda was not immune from an Egypt-style revolt.

EU reports unfairness

The head of the EU election monitoring team has questioned whether the vote was free and fair.

"We have found the power of incumbency was exercised to such an extent as to compromise severely the level playing field between the competing candidates and political parties," Edward Scicluna told reporters.

Museveni has warned he will use the military to crush any dissent. The streets of the capital Kampala were quiet on Sunday save for a heavy military and police presence.

The president has controlled Uganda since seizing power in 1986, profiting from a weak and divided opposition.

While he has been praised for bringing economic stability and development to the East African nation, critics say he oversees a corrupt and authoritarian regime. Many Ugandans complain that their country lacks investment in public services and infrastructure.

Author: Joanna Impey (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Kyle James

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