Kampala, Jan 12 (AFP/APP): Uganda’s opposition frontrunner on Tuesday urged supporters to turn out in large numbers and to “protect” this week’s election from rigging, accusing the ruling party of trying to intimidate voters.
The appeal from Bobi Wine came as the popstar-turned-presidential aspirant alleged his home was raided and staff beaten by security forces ahead of Thursday’s election.
Wine, 38, has emerged the main challenger to 76-year-old President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled since 1986 and is seeking re-election after constitutional changes allowed him to seek a sixth consecutive term.
The veteran leader has been accused of clinging to power and skewing the playing field ahead of the vote. Campaigns have been suspended in opposition strongholds, and Museveni’s rivals denied permission to rally, under the pretext of containing the coronavirus.
The electoral commission, again citing Covid-19 regulations, has ordered the 18 million Ugandans registered in the presidential and parliamentary ballot to leave polling stations quickly after casting their vote. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, said the ruling party was trying to scare voters away from the ballot box and urged them to record any abuses or irregularities on polling day.
“We encourage all voters to stay and guard the vote,” he told reporters in Kampala, flanked by two other opposition candidates.
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