Uganda Election: Museveni’s Main Challenger, Bobi Wine Alleges ‘Widespread Fraud, Violence’


President Yoweri Museveni’s main challenger in the Ugandan presidential election, Bobi Wine, with real name Robert Kyagulanyi, has cried out over allegations of “widespread fraud and violence” as counting gets underway after polls closed in a hotly contested election.

In a statement released on his Twitter handle on Thursday night, Bobi Wine wrote; “Hello, Uganda! Despite the widespread fraud and violence experienced across the country earlier today, the picture still looks good. Thank you, Uganda for turning up and voting in record numbers. The challenge now is for Mr. Byabakama and the EC (Electoral Commission) to declare the will of the People.”

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The 38-year-old singer has become a sensation among young Ugandans, most of whom had only known one president in their lifetime as 76-year-old Museveni has remained in power for 34 years.

The Uganda Presidential Election was conducted under strict conditions. Internet access was cut off and people also experienced trouble sending text messages.

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Earlier in the day, Bobi Wine noted that his phone and that of his wife were blocked.

“Like my wife’s, my phone has been blocked and I am unable to receive or make regular calls. I know this is to stop me from communicating with our agents and coordinators. I encourage you comrades to be vigilant as I try to devise ways of reaching out to you. #WeAreRemovingADictator,” Bobi Wine stated.

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Bobi Wine announced his candidacy in November and was arrested hours later – more than 50 were killed in the protest that followed.

However, with results not expected before Saturday, Bobi Wine faces another high mountain from longtime President Yoweri Museveni.

Museveni, who has wielded power since 1986, is seeking a sixth term as leader of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

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Museveni’s biggest challenger is undoubtedly Bobi Wine, whose popularity among a youthful population has rattled the 76-year-old former rebel leader.

Nine other challengers are also trying to unseat Museveni.

More than 18 million people have registered to take part in the polls. A candidate must win more than 50 percent to avoid a runoff vote.

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