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Ugandan Election: Opposition leader, Bobi Wine, in court to challenge Museveni’s victory

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ROBERT Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, has approached the Ugandan Supreme Court to seek redress over the recently conducted presidential election that kept Youveri Museveni in power for more than 35 years.

Wine’s legal team has filed the petition on behalf of the opposition leader and his party, the National Unity Platform, urging the apex court to declare the election rigged.

One of the counsels to Wine and NUP, Anthony Wameli, said the team had gathered ‘glaring evidence’ to prove that the election result announced by the Electoral Commission was not valid.

Another member of the legal team, George Musisi, a senior legal associate at Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Kampala, also reiterated that the demand of the party and the candidate was to have the election cancelled and repeated.

Musisi said during the January 14 election, there was ‘outright ballot-stuffing’ and intimidation at the polls.

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“There was outright ballot-stuffing, there was intimidation of NUP agents and supporters, some were arrested on the eve of [last month’s] election, there was pre-ticking of ballots,” said Musisi.

According to the Ugandan Electoral Commission, Museveni won the election with 58.64 percent of the total votes cast while his main challenger, Wine, garnered 34.83 per cent of the total votes cast.

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How the election was conducted

During the electioneering period, there were several reported human rights violations and intimidation of the opposition in the country.

There were reports that some members of the NUP were arrested arbitrarily by the Ugandan military. While some were released, some are still in military detention as the whereabouts of others remain unknown, according to Wine.

Also, a few days to the election, the Ugandan government led by Museveni shut down the internet, arguing that ‘it was no good’ to its people.

Both the European Union and the United States did not observe the election due to the government’s failure to implement previous electoral recommendations and accredit electoral observers respectively, they said.

Post-election, Wine, the opposition leader was placed on arbitrary house arrest by the Ugandan military for more than 10 days until a court ordered the security operatives to vacate his residence.

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