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Uganda opposition claims election fraudulent

by The Associated Press | January 18, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.
Ugandan security forces patrols opposition neighborhoods in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was declared winner of the presidential elections. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

KAMPALA, Uganda -- A day after Uganda's longtime leader was declared winner of the country's presidential election, the opposition party dismissed the results as "fraud" and called for the release of their leader, Bobi Wine, who has been allegedly under house arrest since polling day.

President Yoweri Museveni won a sixth five-year term, extending his rule to four decades, according to official results.

Uganda's military on Sunday continued to hold top opposition challenger Wine at his home, saying troops were there to protect him. Wine dismissed Museveni's victory as "cooked-up, fraudulent results" while his party urged the government to release him.

"We were leading Gen. Museveni by a very large margin, so large that he could not recover," said Wine, speaking on his cell phone to international journalists from his home.

"Our polling agents have proof of our victory," said Wine. "We have proof that the military carried out voting fraud but we cannot publish these videos because the internet is cut and because the military is chasing our polling agents."

[Video not showing up above? Click here to watch » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etd_K83XvE4]

Wine said his party, the National Unity Platform, has video evidence of the military stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for people and chasing voters away from polling stations.

Wine said that while he and his wife are being held captive at their property, they are concerned about the safety of his party's polling agents and other supporters.

"We are detained at our house, while others have been abducted and are missing. The military is conducting a massive campaign to arrest our agents. Many are on the run."

Wine said he and his supporters are pursuing a legal and peaceful challenge to Museveni.

The opposition party, in a statement Sunday, said that its "quest for a free Uganda is on despite the current attack on free speech and association," referring to the days-long shutdown of the internet by the government. The party urged its followers to use every "constitutionally available avenue" to pursue political change.

"As we speak now, our president [Wine] is under illegal detention at his home," opposition lawmaker Mathias Mpuuga, told reporters at a news conference Sunday. Mpuuga spoke at the headquarters of Wine's party in Kampala.

Uganda's electoral commission said that Museveni received 58% of the vote to Wine's 34%, with a voter turnout of 52%.

Although Museveni stays in power, at least nine of his Cabinet ministers, including the vice president, were defeated in the parliamentary elections, many losing to candidates from Wine's party, local media reported.

Calling himself the "ghetto president," Wine had strong support in Uganda's cities, where frustration with unemployment and corruption is high.

Museveni dismissed the claims of vote-rigging.

"I think this may turn out to be the most cheating-free election since 1962," when Uganda won independence from Britain, said Museveni in a national address on Saturday.

Tracking the vote was complicated by the arrests of independent monitors and the denial of accreditation to most members of the U.S. observer mission, leading the U.S. to cancel its monitoring of the vote.

"The news from Uganda is deeply concerning. Bobi Wine, other political figures, and their supporters should not be harmed, and those who perpetrate political violence must be held accountable," Jake Sullivan, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's pick for national security adviser, tweeted on Sunday. "After this flawed election, the world is watching."

Information for this article was contributed by Cara Anna and Andrew Meldrum of The Associated Press.

Soldiers patrol outside opposition challenger Bobi Wine's home in Magere, Kampala, Uganda, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, after President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of the presidential election. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
Soldiers patrol outside opposition challenger Bobi Wine's home in Magere, Kampala, Uganda, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, after President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of the presidential election. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
Uganda's leading opposition challenger Bobi Wine walks back to his residence after giving a press conference outside Kampala, Uganda, Friday,Jan. 15, 2021, one day after Ugandans went to the polls. 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 top opposition candidate Bobi 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/Jerome Delay)
Uganda's leading opposition challenger Bobi Wine walks back to his residence after giving a press conference outside Kampala, Uganda, Friday,Jan. 15, 2021, one day after Ugandans went to the polls. 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 top opposition candidate Bobi 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/Jerome Delay)
A supporter of Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni celebrates, in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after their candidate was declared winner of the presidential elections.  Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
A supporter of Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni celebrates, in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after their candidate was declared winner of the presidential elections. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
A supporter of Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni celebrates in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after their candidate was declared winner of the presidential elections.  Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
A supporter of Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni celebrates in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after their candidate was declared winner of the presidential elections. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
Uganda's leading opposition challenger Bobi Wine, right, and his wife Barbie Kyagulanyi, in cheerful mood after casting their votes in Kampala, Uganda, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Ugandans are voting in a presidential election tainted by widespread violence that some fear could escalate as security forces try to stop supporters of Wine from monitoring polling stations.(AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
Uganda's leading opposition challenger Bobi Wine, right, and his wife Barbie Kyagulanyi, in cheerful mood after casting their votes in Kampala, Uganda, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Ugandans are voting in a presidential election tainted by widespread violence that some fear could escalate as security forces try to stop supporters of Wine from monitoring polling stations.(AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
Uganda Electoral Commission chairman Simon Byabakama, seated center, declares Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni winner of the presidential elections in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Uganda Electoral Commission chairman Simon Byabakama, seated center, declares Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni winner of the presidential elections in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Soldiers patrol outside opposition challenger Bobi Wine's home in Magere, Kampala, Uganda, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, after President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of the presidential election. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
Soldiers patrol outside opposition challenger Bobi Wine's home in Magere, Kampala, Uganda, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, after President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of the presidential election. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Nicholas Bamulanzeki)
Ugandan security forces guards a checkpoint Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was declared winner of the presidential elections.  (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Ugandan security forces guards a checkpoint Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was declared winner of the presidential elections. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Ugandan security forces patrol Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was declared winner of the presidential elections.  Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Ugandan security forces patrol Kampala, Uganda, Saturday Jan. 16, 2021, after Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was declared winner of the presidential elections. Uganda’s electoral commission says longtime President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging and officials struggle to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash widely watched across the African continent, the young singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably the greatest challenge yet to Museveni. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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