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Uganda Opposition Leader Bobi Wine Calls for Rejection of Presidential Election Results

FILE - Leading opposition candidate in Uganda's presidential election Bobi Wine speaks to the press outside Kampala, Uganda, Jan. 15, 2021, one day after Ugandans went to the polls.

Uganda opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, has called on Uganda’s development partners not to recognize the results of last week’s presidential election, which he said was undermined by widespread illegalities.

In an exclusive phone interview with VOA Monday, Wine said his party has evidence to prove the election was fraudulent, including ballot box stuffing by the Ugandan military, which he said also ordered people to vote for President Yoweri Museveni on election day.

Wine, a popular musician-turned-politician, said it was the military, not the electoral commission, that oversaw the January 14 presidential election. He said he will present the evidence to the world as soon as the internet is restored in Uganda, which happened on Monday.

"We are going to show the world the evidence of our claim to victory," he said.

Uganda’s electoral commission said Museveni won 58.64% of the vote to Wine’s 34.83%. Museveni has won all six of the presidential elections held in Uganda since he seized power in 1986.

A spokesperson for Uganda’s electoral commission told VOA that the courts are open for all aggrieved candidates from last week’s presidential and parliamentary election.

Paul Bukenya says the electoral process was transparent from start to finish and that Museveni won convincingly. Bukenya says any candidate or candidates feeling dissatisfied should seek redress in the courts.

'A mockery'

Asked if he plans to take his case to the Ugandan Supreme Court, Wine said everyone knows that the court is undermined by Museveni.

"It is a mockery," he said. "It is firmly in the pocket of General Museveni."

He said he is under house arrest with more than 400 soldiers surrounding his house in Kampala and blocking journalists and party officials from meeting with him.

"Many of them (soldiers) have jumped over the fence and they have taken control of my compound," he said. "I am not allowed to leave my house...I had to smuggle a phone into this house so to be able to get the word out there."

U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown attempted to visit Wine at his house Monday but was turned away by security forces.

A U.S. embassy spokesman said the recent election was marred by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of the media and a nationwide internet shutdown, though he stopped short of rejecting the election results.

Wine said putting him under house arrest is an example of what he called Museveni’s illegal and disregard of the law. Asked what’s next for him, Wine said he and his movement are bent on removing “a dictator” and will stop at nothing until Uganda is free.

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