By RODNEY MUHUMUZA, The Associated Press
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – Ugandan presidential contender Bobby Vine has emerged from last week’s disputed election as his party won the country’s most powerful opposition leader after winning the most seats of any opposition group in the National Assembly Selected as.
This is a major achievement for a party that is barely six months old and almost didn’t make it to the ballot when it was accused by government officials of being an illegal entity. While longtime President Yoweri Museveni has been declared the winner of the sixth term, the rise of the 38-year-old wine party marks a generational change.
“We are ready to see leadership change at all levels. We have not achieved the ultimate, but we still certainly are. It is like spreading a tree. “You keep chopping until the tree falls,” said Joel Sencioni, spokesman for the National Integration Forum of Vines.
Removing Museveni through voting, he said, “It is not easy, but it is not impossible.”
Liquor, a singer-legislator whose real name is Kyagulyani Sesantamu, will now decide who will lead the opposition in the Ugandan legislature after his party wins at least 56 seats. This number may increase to 61 when the final result is declared. But the ruling National Resistance Movement Party still has more than 300 seats, an absolute majority means Museveni can move forward with his agenda without negotiating with the opposition.
The liquor party, however, will also lead influential oversight committees that were long dominated by an opposing group led by Kijer Basigai, who sat in this election amid a meteoric rise of alcohol.
“He has succeeded in writing something new,” said Nicholas Sengoba, an analyst and newspaper columnist about alcohol. He has danced the narrative in Uganda that to be a national leader you must have a military background. “
Museveni, a former guerrilla leader who has been in office since 1986, faced his biggest electoral challenge with what is arguably alcohol. The 76-year-old president was able to run for another term, allowing him to extend his rule for four decades, with lawmakers in 2017 removing the last constitutional barrier – the age limit – from a possible life presidency.
An American ally on regional security for decades, Museveni now finds himself increasingly in tune with the outside world, he sees as hell on changing the regime. Liquor has urged the international community, including the United States, to suspend billions of dollars of foreign aid that it says is brutal.
Museveni, in response, described Vine as a foreign agent and said that he would not tolerate the intervention of international partners whose money helps his government provide vital public services.
“Bazungu.” I don’t want to be racist, but they are the ones who are mostly involved “In Meddling, Museveni said on Saturday on a television address that he was elected after the election using a Swahili word for whites.” Will not be tolerated. “
On Monday, the US ambassador in Uganda was barred by security forces from visiting Vine at his home, which is surrounded by soldiers. Police say the deployment is intended to prevent riots triggering the presence of alcohol in the public following disputed elections.
According to official results, Museveni won Thursday’s election with 58% of the vote, while Vine had 34%. Museveni had the lowest share of the vote since his government held elections for the first time in 1996, when he won 75%.
Many members of Museveni’s government, including the Vice President, failed to win parliamentary seats. Many of the losses were for the candidates of the Wine Party, which swept the central region that included the capital, Kampala, as well as an enclave that was once the launchpad of the war that brought Museveni to power.
“If you’ve lost your corn, what’s next?” Local rights watchdog analyst Adrian Jajuko told local broadcaster NTV referring to the loss of Museveni in Luweiro district.
Emphasizing liquor, he won the election and said he would prove the allegation that the military was filling ballot boxes, casting ballots for people and chasing voters away from polling stations. He has posted a video on Facebook to show a police officer filling a box with ballots at an undisclosed location.
“I know many of you were trying to record evidence of rigging, but those who succeeded, please send in the video,” Vine said on Tuesday. “The whole world must see Museveni for who he is – a shameless, ruthless election thief who is yet again trying to suppress the will of the citizens.”
Museveni has dismissed the allegations of vote-rigging. “I think this may be the most deceiving election since 1962,” when Uganda gained independence from Britain, he said in his national address.
Alcohol, which is effectively subject to house arrest, can challenge the election results in Uganda’s highest court. But judges in the past have been reluctant to rule against Museveni, dismissing allegations of irregularities not enough to affect the overall election result.
A presidential candidate must launch any legal challenge to the election results within 10 days of the declaration of final results.
Authorities are facing questions about the authenticity of the election results, especially after the Election Commission accepted an account in the local media on Monday that the results of more than 1,000 polling stations were not counted.
The commission, while trying to meet a constitutional deadline, concluded that the vote gap between Museveni and his nearest challenger Vine “would not back down from votes from the remaining 1,223 polling stations,” it said.
The Commission did not say how many uncounted ballots were affected. The Daily Monitor newspaper reported that the vote-bank of the Witkiso district, widely seen as a liquor stronghold, was the most affected.
The election was escalated by violence on polling day, alcohol and other opposition candidates were detained and harassed, as well as an internet shutdown that remained in force until Monday, when accessibility was restored for most Ugandans was. Social media sites should be banned.
The International Crisis Group, in an analysis, predicted further trouble for Museveni. “Many people see Museveni as the face of an out-of-touch gorontroc who are unable to meet the needs of the country’s unemployed,” said Muriti Mutiga of the group. Unemployment is the centerpiece of his campaign, with Museveni likely to reestablish in the final years of his presidency. “
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