Connect to share and comment

Uganda elections: Victory for Musenveni, for now

Museveni wins but opposition threatens protests.

At a press conference in Kampala on Sunday as final votes were being counted, Besigye rejected the results alleging fraud, bias, intimidation and bribery. He said he would not recognize Musveni’s leadership or his “illegitimate government."

“It's already very clear there were widespread malpractices in the electoral process,” Besigye said. “It is now clear the will of the people cannot be expressed through the electoral process in this kind of corrupt and repressive political environment.”

After losing to Museveni in both 2001 and 2006, Besigye appealed to the courts, which agreed there had been fraud but ruled it was not enough to affect the results.

During campaigning for this election he said he would, this time, appeal to “the court of public opinion” but on Sunday he stopped short of repeating his threat of Egypt-style street protests.

Another oppositionist, Otunnu who scored less than 2 percent, was more forthright. "I will not accept the results and all Ugandans should not accept it," he said. "It is now upon us Ugandans to do whatever it takes. We shall not accept subjugation and suppression. We shall confront [Museveni].”

There have been no demonstrations so far and on the streets of the capital there was a feeling that protest would be futile. On Sunday yellow-shirted backers of Museveni took to the streets of Kampala in celebration, their jubilation contrasting starkly with the heavy deployment of riot police and the contingents of soldiers carrying out foot patrols, assault rifles at the ready.

Eric Bukenya, a 26-year old taxi driver, said he had voted for Besigye because he has never known any leader but Museveni and wants to see a change. As a group of a dozen soldiers filed by he said, “These people are here to scare us.”