?Massive cheating? alleged in Ugandan poll

UGANDAN President Yoweri Museveni is headed to almost certain victory in the country’s presidential elections, but with his main challenger charging vast cheating during Monday’s poll.

With provisional results in from less than one third of the 214 constituencies, Museveni had 71% of the vote with his rival Kizza Besigye on 23.5%, according to a tally of results from the Electoral Commission.

Besigye has already rejected the outcome, calling the process “grossly fraudulent”.

“There were very many irregularities in the process which render the result untenable. Definitely we will be challenging it in the courts of law.”

In a letter to the Electoral Commission, Besigye said his agents had been chased from many polling stations or detained by the army during the voting. He said Museveni supporters had engaged in multiple voting and some ballot boxes were stuffed.

“In Rukingiri and Kanungu districts, many of our supporters had their voter cards forcefully confiscated by armed soldiers and as a result were denied the right to vote,” he wrote.

Later, he said in a telephone interview: “If you find 10_000 registered voters and 11_000 votes have been cast, what would be the explanation? I think the Electoral Commission is definitely at the centre of the problem.”

Commission representative Dick Kizito said the provisional results were still being verified.

“They should not reject partial, provisional results,” he said. “If they notice an anomaly, they should point it out.”

“If there are cases (of vote rigging) where they can specifically give us details, we can look into it,” he added.

Museveni’s campaign representative, Information Minister Basoga Nsadhu, said he would not comment until he had seen a copy of the letter Besigye wrote to the commission.

Local observers and foreign journalists corroborated reports of rigging and intimidation by Museveni supporters in at least four of the country’s 56 districts. - Reuters


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