Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term in office, extending his 35-year rule after an election which took place under heavy security and an Internet blackout, and which his main rival said was marred by fraud and violence.
The 76-year-old leader, who took power in 1986, is one of Africa’s longest serving Presidents, and was accused of crushing the opposition and media ahead of one of the most violent election campaigns in recent years.
Mr. Museveni won with 58.6% of votes, seeing off a stiff battle from the former ragga singer Bobi Wine, 38, whose turn to politics fired up a youthful population where three quarters are under 30 years old.
Mr. Wine was under heavy guard at his home on the outskirts of Kampala as results were announced, with his party saying he was under “effective house arrest”, while the government said it was merely providing him with security.
The singer-turned-MP was among 10 opposition candidates and came second with 34.8% of the votes.
“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni… elected President of the republic of Uganda,” said Election Commission chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama.
He said turnout was 57.22 of almost 18 million registered voters.
Justice Byabakama urged the population to “remain calm and accept the outcome of these elections” while reminding those celebrating to be mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic.