Uganda’s Museveni enjoys early election lead as many still to vote

February 19, 2016 1:18 pm
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Thursday's presidential and parliamentary votes were disrupted in the capital Kampala by the late arrival of ballot boxes and papers, angry demonstrations by frustrated voters, police use of tear gas and the brief arrest of an opposition candidate/AFP
Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary votes were disrupted in the capital Kampala by the late arrival of ballot boxes and papers, angry demonstrations by frustrated voters, police use of tear gas and the brief arrest of an opposition candidate/AFP
KAMPALA, Uganda, Feb 19 – Uganda’s veteran President Yoweri Museveni has a solid lead in the country’s chaotic elections, early results showed Friday, even as people were still queuing at dozens of polling stations to cast their vote.

Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary votes were disrupted in the capital Kampala by the late arrival of ballot boxes and papers, angry demonstrations by frustrated voters, police use of tear gas and the brief arrest of an opposition candidate.

Preliminary results released by the Electoral Commission from just over a third of polling centres nationwide gave the 71-year-old Museveni a clear 63 percent of the vote.

The former rebel fighter faced a challenge from seven candidates but is expected to easily win re-election for fifth term in office and extend his 30-year rule of the east African country.

READ: Ugandan presidential challenger Kizza Besigye released

Results announced so far give leading opposition challenger Kizza Besigye, who was briefly held by police on Thursday in a move condemned by the United States, 33 percent of the vote.

But 36 polling stations in the capital and the surrounding Wakiso district were to reopen on Friday because of the problems on voting day.

The Commonwealth Observer Group monitoring the vote had described the delays as “inexcusable” and warned they would not inspire trust in the process.

Counting is nevertheless under way at 28,000 other stations across the country where voting passed off smoothly.

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