Museveni predicts big win in poll

February 16, 2011 12:00 am

, ENTEBBE, Feb 16 – Veteran Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said at a press conference Wednesday he was confident of a "big win" in Friday\’s presidential poll.

"It will be a big win," he told reporters at the presidential palace here. "The results are going to be very good. We shall win with a big majority," he said.

A total of seven candidates are running against Museveni who is already the region\’s longest-serving leader and who is widely expected to secure re-election.

"We are not worried at all … you just wait, you will see," told reporters.

Wednesday is the final day of campaigning ahead of the vote. After leaving Entebbe Museveni is expected to head into the capital Kampala for his final meeting.

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye is also on the last day of his campaign trail in and around Kampala.

Many commentators think Friday\’s vote could be the closest in Museveni\’s history.

In 1996, the veteran leader, who fought his way to power in 1986, took 75 percent of the vote, but his share dropped to 69 percent 2001 and to 59 percent in the 2006 election.

Attention is already shifting to the immediate post-poll period, with Besigye vowing to conduct his own tally.

Besigye, who is taking on Museveni for the third time and who is regarded as his main rival, has claimed only rigging could deprive him of victory and warned that Uganda was ripe for an Egypt-style revolt.

Kampala is still covered with political posters, including Besigye\’s that promises that "change is coming", but no major incidents were reported.

Besigye has in the past failed to nullify fraud-tainted elections in court and for his third presidential bid, he has promised to conduct a parallel count of the votes and declare national results 24 hours after polling ends.

Opposition leaders plan to deploy a team of 40 observers to 95 percent of the country\’s 24,000 polling stations to guard against rigging.


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