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Iran Press TV

Incumbent Museveni wins Uganda's presidential election for fifth term

Iran Press TV

Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:6PM

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has won the East African nation's presidential election, extending his three decades in power.

Uganda's electoral commission announced on Saturday that Museveni secured 60.8 percent of votes, while his main rival and opposition candidate Kizza Besigye garnered 35.4 percent.

Besigye, who is currently under house arrest, rejected Museveni's victory, saying the poll was a "sham."

"We have just witnessed what must be the most fraudulent electoral process in Uganda," Besigye said in a statement, calling for an independent audit of the results.

The opposition candidate was detained several times over the past days.

Meanwhile, European Union observers criticized the poll, saying the East African nation's electoral commission is not independent, adding that the vote was conducted in an intimidating atmosphere.

The electoral commission "lacks independence, transparency and the trust of stakeholders," Eduard Kukan, chief observer for the EU mission said.

He said the dominance of the political space by President Museveni's ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party "distorted the fairness of the campaign and state actors created an intimidating atmosphere for both voters and candidates."

The Thursday elections were marred by late delivery of polling materials, sporadic violence and a government shutdown of social media.

Shortly before declaring Museveni the winner, Badru Kiggundu, the electoral commission chief, appealed for calm, saying "the outcome of an elections can either tear or build a country... as Ugandans let us be prepared to exhibit more tolerance."

Ugandan elections in 2006 and 2011 were marred by violence over the results, sparking widespread protests in the East African country, particularly in the capital, Kampala.

Museveni, who came to power in 1986 after waging a five-year guerrilla war, is hailed by many Ugandans as providing decades of relative peace and economic stability.

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