Uganda’s Electoral Commission has declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni the winner of the country’s presidential election.
Museveni secured 5.85 million votes, or 58.64 percent, of the total votes cast, while main opposition candidate Bobi Wine won 3.48 million votes or 34.83 percent, the commission said in a televised news conference.
“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni … elected president of the republic of Uganda,” said Chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama.
He added that turnout was 57% of almost 18 million registered voters.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the declaration, the head agent of Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform described the announcement as “an attempt to undermine the will of the people in Uganda”.
“The legal framework in Uganda gives us a number of opportunities and options to which we can contest this unfair process and going through the Supreme Court is one of the options,” Katana added. “We ask the people of Uganda to stand firm and work with us to explore all the options … to make sure that we stop this coup.”
President Museveni however dismissed the allegations of fraud in a televised address saying the elections may turn out to be the “most cheating-free” in Uganda’s history.
He also warned people in Uganda not to “cause chaos.”
“Nobody is going to cause chaos here, because whoever tries to, we will break him, because it’s no joke,” Museveni told reporters at the national vote-counting center outside of Kampala. “There is nobody who is above us in knowing how to handle guns. There is nobody who is above us in fighting.”
The results were announced as Bobi Wine was under heavy guard at his home on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala.
“I’ve tried to leave my compound and I’m being blocked by the military. They say they have orders not to let me leave,” Wine said.
“His movements are restricted; he is not allowed to leave his home and visitors are not allowed to enter, which in effect indicates that he is under detention, house arrest,” Katana added.
“[It] also shows that part of the scheme to rig and undermine the democratic process is to take away the leaders, keep them away, intimidate the citizens, switch off the internet, censor the media – which they have done effectively [and] is why no local station can go and interview Bobi Wine.”
The army’s deputy spokesman, Deo Akiiki, however told reporters that the security forces had been placed there for Wine’s own protection and were stopping him from leaving his home while assessing threats.
Observers have reported problems, including the arrests of independent monitors and the denial of accreditation to members of the United States and the European Union observer mission that said its offer to deploy electoral experts “was not taken up.”
The head of the African Union observer team, Samuel Azuu Fonkam, told reporters he could not say whether the election had been free and fair, noting the “limited” AU mission which largely focused on the capital, Kampala. Asked about Wine’s allegations of rigging, he said he could not “speak about things we did not see or observe.”
The East African Community observer team in its preliminary statement also mentioned issues including “disproportionate use of force in some instances” by security forces, the internet shutdown, some late-opening polling stations and isolated cases of failure in biometric kits to verify voters.
But it called the vote largely peaceful and said it “demonstrated the level of maturity expected of a democracy.”