Uganda’s incumbent Yoweri Museveni wins presidential election

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Jan. 16 (UPI) — Uganda’s electoral commission declared incumbent President Yoweri Museveni the winner of the presidential election Saturday, while his rival, pop singer Bobi Wine, alleged voter fraud.

With a voter turnout of 52% on Thursday, Museveni received 5.8 million votes, or 58.6%, beating Wine, who was born Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. Wine garnered 3.5 million votes, or 34.8% of the vote.

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The election also swept in a record number of members of Wine’s National Unity Platform Party in Parliament, bringing the total number of opposition members to 56.

The Ugandan government shut down the Internet the day before the election and remained inaccessible Saturday.

Museveni, 76, who won his sixth term and has held office since 1986, is one of the longest-serving leaders in Africa. He campaigned on his experience as head of the ruling National Resistance Movement.

Wine, a reggae rapper, appealed to younger voters in a country where the median age is 16. Wine, who grew up in Kampala’s Kamwokya slum, campaigned as the “ghetto president.”

The election was fraught with violence, with Wine and other candidates being repeatedly arrested. In November, at a protest over Wine’s arrest, 50 people were killed.

The Ugandan election was further complicated by the arrests of independent monitors. Observers from the United States canceled their participation after being denied accreditation credentials. Observers from the European Union said their offer to help was ignored.

After the election, a Wine spokesman said the candidate was trapped in his home by security forces.

“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,” Wine spokesman Benjamin Katana told Al Jazeera. “[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.”

Wine alleged voter irregularities and fraud.

“I will be happy to share the videos of all the fraud and irregularities as soon as the internet is restored,” Wine told the BBC.