France 24
France 24 14 Jan 2021

Uganda presidential election: President Museveni faces off against singer Bobi Wine

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#Ugandans wearing face masks to brave the pandemic voted on Thursday as police and soldiers patrolled the streets of the capital during a presidential #election pitting long-time leader Yoweri Museveni against popular singer Bobi #Wine. FRANCE 24's Grainne Herrington tells us more.


A 38-year-old musician-turned-politician is looking to unseat Uganda's longtime-president, Yoweri Museveni, as the country headed to the polls on Thursday. The Associated Press reported that there were long lines of people queuing in Kampala to cast their ballots in the election. Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, said the 76-year-old president could not offer Ugandans the change they want after 35 years in power amid high unemployment and ballooning public debt. Museveni, without offering any evidence, said Wine is backed by foreign governments and homosexuals.
The former guerilla fighter, who helped oust dictator Idi Amin in 1986, changed the constitution to run for a sixth five-year term.

Election officials expect results will be announced within 48 hours of polls closing at 1300 UTC. The winning candidate must pick up more than 50% of ballots cast to avoid a runoff vote. Nearly 18 million people are registered voters in this East African country of 45 million people.

The US will not be sending any election observers to monitor the fairness of the poll, citing interference from Ugandan authorities. Uganda's communications regulator on Wednesday ordered an internet blackout that also blocked access to social media and messaging apps. Ugandan elections are often marred by allegations of fraud and alleged abuses by the security forces. The country has never witnessed a peaceful handover of power since its independence from Britain in 1962.
#Ugandans wearing face masks to brave the pandemic voted on Thursday as police and soldiers patrolled the streets of the capital during a presidential #election pitting long-time leader Yoweri #Museveni against popular singer Bobi #Wine.
Voting has started in Uganda in fraught presidential and parliamentary elections with an internet blackout in place.
Longtime President Yoweri Museveni is competing against opposition front-runner Bobi Wine, a pop star-turned-opposition leader.
Security forces have killed more than 50 people in opposition rallies.
Two-thirds of the country's registered voters are under the age of 30 and many feel disconnected from politics.

Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi reports from Kampala, Uganda.
In tonight's edition Uganda braces for tense presidential elections on Thirsday. It is doing so without internet as a blackout descends on the eve of the vote.

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