Uganda's Museveni Wins Multi-Party Vote
SCOTT SIMON, host:
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has apparently won another term in office, but his challenger is rejecting the results announced by the Election Commission. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Kampala.
JASON BEAUBIAN reporting:
Museveni defeated his one time ally and personal physician, Kizza Besigye to extend his tenure as president into a third decade. The campaign was a fiercely personal one between the two candidates. The central issue before voters was summarized by the slogans of the two camps. Besigeye's form for democratic change, supporters adopted the chant Asende or throw him out and 70's backers countered with shouts of no change, no change.
On Thursday, Ugandans decided to stick with the stability offered by Museveni despite his flaws. The results, however, vary dramatically across the country, in the north where people have been terrorized for almost two decades by the Lord's Resistance Army. Voters in some districts gave their incumbent president less than 10 percent of the vote. Museveni also lost in the capital Kampala.
During the last presidential election in 2001, there was widespread fraud and voter intimidation, according to the Uganda Supreme Court. This year, observers from the European Union declared that voting itself went smoothly and saw no signs of organized rigging. The election monitors however did say that there were numerous problems with the campaign itself.
The first was that Besigye spent a significant amount of the race in prison on charges of treason, terrorism and rape. In addition, Ugandan attorney general, who was appointed by Museveni, attempted repeatedly to get Besigye disqualified from the race on legal grounds. The EU Observer is also saying Museveni utilized the resources of the government for his campaign, and state run media heavily favored the incumbent.
Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Kampala
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