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President Museveni declared winner

February 20, 2016

Uganda's election commission has declared Yoweri Museveni the winner of the presidential elections. His opponent Kizza Besigye was reported to have won 35 percent of the votes.

Image: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Kurokawa

The announcement extends Museveni's three-decade-long rule in Uganda. DW correspondent Ole Tangen tweeted this message:

Museveni's opponent, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was reported to have won 35 percent of the votes. Besigye's party rejected the polls as fraudulent and issued a statement ahead of the final results.

Uganda Oberst Kizza Besigye
Kizza Besigye was once Museveni's doctor before he fell out of favorImage: dpa

"I call upon all Ugandans and the international community to reject and condemn the fraud that has been committed and to expose it to the fullest extent possible," Mugisha Muntu, the FDC president said in a statement.

Elections took place on Thursday in Uganda but were marred by late delivery of polling materials, sporadic incidents of violence and a shutdown of social media. Opposition members, especially of the FDC were harassed and FDC chief Besigye was placed under house arrest on Friday.

Yoweri Museveni
Museveni asked Ugandans to cast their votes for "the Old Man with a Hat" in a message a day before the pollsImage: AP

Besigye's supporters, who marched in protest in Kampala, were rounded up by riot police who lobbed teargas and used stun guns against them.

A European Union observer described the "intimidating atmosphere, which was mainly created by state actors." The EU mission's leader Edward Kukan told reporters that the election commission lacked transparency and parties did not trust it.

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone with Museveni to emphasize that Uganda's progress depended on "adherence to democratic principles in the ongoing election process."

Yoweri Museveni, a close ally of the West against Islamist militants, has been Uganda's president for the last 29 years. This is the fourth time he has won elections against Kizza Besigye, who once was his personal physician.

mg/jm (AP, dpa)