Uganda opposition leader Bobi Wine says military enters home

The National Unity platform presidential candidate Bobi Wine addresses the media at his home in Magere, Uganda, Friday. Uganda’s electoral commission says President Yoweri Museveni leads in Thursday’s election with results in from 29% of polling stations. He has 63% of ballots while Wine has 28%. Wine, a popular singer-turned-lawmaker half the president’s age, alleges that the vote in the East African country was rigged. (AP photo)

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine said Friday the military had entered and “taken control” of his home and “we are in serious trouble,” while the country waited for election results amid a government-ordered internet blackout.

Wine tweeted just hours after he alleged that Thursday’s election was rigged and said “every legal option is on the table” to challenge the official results, including peaceful protests. He referred to himself as the “president-elect.”

“None of these military intruders is talking to us. We are in serious trouble. We are under siege,” tweeted Wine, who was arrested several times during campaigning but never charged while dozens of party members were detained. This month he petitioned the International Criminal Court over alleged abuses by security forces.

Wine has said he feared for his life, and campaigned at times in a flak jacket.

Uganda’s electoral commission said longtime President Yoweri Museveni leads Wine and other candidates based on results from roughly half of polling stations, receiving 62% of ballots while Wine had 29%. It said final results will be declared this afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Wine, a popular singer-turned-lawmaker half the president’s age, alleged to reporters that “whatever is being declared is a total sham.” At the time, there was a heavy police presence near his home.

The electoral commission, which said it was “not competent” to comment on the military’s actions, said Wine should prove his allegations of rigging. Wine said he would provide video evidence of pre-ticked ballots and other irregularities once internet access in Uganda is restored.

“We secured a comfortable victory,” Wine said. “I am very confident that we defeated the dictator by far.” He was considering “peaceful and nonviolent protests” over the declared results and said “every legal option is on the table.” Candidates can challenge election results at the Supreme Court.

The generational clash between the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine and the 76-year-old president is widely watched in many African countries where booming youthful populations express frustration with longtime leaders amid the stresses of high unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government cut internet access in the East African country on the eve of the largely peaceful election day, disrupting everything from mobile money payments to medical care.

Asked by reporters how voting results are being transmitted, the electoral commission chief replied that “we recognized the usual internet could … have issues, so we did not want to take chances. So we designed our own system of transmitting these results.” How it works, he said is “something technical I can’t explain sufficiently for you to appreciate.”

Elections results were not announced by district, further challenging attempts to monitor the vote. The electoral commission said it “may not be able” to provide details of where the published results are from.


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