With nearly half of the ballots counted in Uganda, dictator Yoweri Museveni, 76, appears with 62.7% of the vote – the equivalent of more than 3.9 million ballots in Thursday’s vote (14) .
Its main opponent, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, 38, popularly known as Bobi Wine after a career as a pop singer, has so far garnered 29.3% of the vote, according to figures released by the Ugandan Election Commission.
The release of a new results update was scheduled to start at 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. Brasilia) – the same time as the curfew decreed in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that is starting in the country.
Until this report was published, however, the Election Commission website, local media and international news agencies had not yet presented the most recent figures.
This could be the mere indication of yet another victory for Museveni, who has been in power for 35 years and is trying to secure his sixth term in command of Uganda. But the violence that marked the entire electoral campaign and the reports of repression and censorship against Wine and his supporters call into question the legitimacy of the electoral process.
“We are under siege. The army has broken through the fence and has now taken control of our house,” Wine wrote on his Twitter profile this morning, hours after nearly 18 million Ugandans turned out to vote to choose their leader.
“None of these military invaders speaks to us. We are in great difficulty. We are under siege,” added the opponent.
Metropolitan Police in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, said the siege around the condo where Wine lives was in fact an operation to keep him safe.
“We just increased our contingent in the neighborhood for his own safety. We are not here to arrest him and he is not in jail,” police spokesman Luke Owoyesigyre said.
Another spokesperson for the armed forces said there had been no military invasion of the condominium. According to Deo Akiiki, what happened was an intervention by security guards to arrest three intruders who attempted to enter the property.
Earlier in a press conference this Friday outside his house, Wine said he was very confident he had defeated the dictator by hand and said the country’s vote count was the worst manipulation that the country has ever known.
“Museveni is working hard to paint a picture where he is ahead. What a joke, ”he said, adding that the Election Commission, state institutions and some media“ shamelessly attempt to usurp the will of the people ”.
“We are putting all legal, constitutional and non-violent options on the table,” Wine said. “I will be happy to share videos of all frauds and irregularities as soon as the Internet is restored.”
On the eve of the vote, Museveni ordered a ban on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, then a wider blocking of telecommunications companies which generated a “blackout” on the country’s internet.
The acts, according to Museveni himself, were a response to the blockade operated by Facebook, Monday 11, of a network of accounts linked to the Ugandan Ministry of Information. According to the platform, the profiles were fake and attempted to manipulate public debate and influence voting intentions.
Museveni even apologized for the inconvenience caused by the blockade, but said he had no choice after Mark Zuckerberg’s company suspended several accounts supporting his party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). .
“If you want to pick a team against NRM, then this group [Facebook] he must not operate in Uganda, “said the dictator.” We cannot tolerate this arrogance of someone who comes to decide for us who is good and who is bad. “
Simon Byabakama, chairman of the Election Commission, sought to assure Ugandans that the results reached the national counting center, despite the internet blackout.
“We don’t use the local internet to transmit our results, we use our own system,” he said, without giving details. “Don’t worry, the results will come.”
As the head of the case Wine accuses of bias in the investigation, Byabakama also said that the country’s law determines that the opponent bears the burden of proof on the alleged irregularities.
“The onus is on candidate Kyagulanyi to show or prove in what context and how the results are handled,” he said.
Most international observers did not send representatives to Uganda to monitor the electoral process after their credentials were denied by local authorities, which reinforces the lack of transparency in the elections.
“Without the vigorous participation of observers, especially Ugandan observers who are accountable to their citizens, elections will not have the accountability, transparency and confidence that observer missions provide,” the states embassy said. United in Uganda in a statement released last Wednesday (13).
The European Union, which was also denied permits, said the electoral process was seriously marred by the excessive use of force. A coalition representing hundreds of Ugandan civil society organizations said it registered 1,900 accreditation requests, but only 10 were accepted.
Entities such as the African Union and the East African Community have sent observers to the country, but have not made a public statement regarding the allegations of wrongdoing.