Vote tally shows Ugandan president set to extend 30 years in power

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was poised to win another term in office Saturday as election results showed him garnering more than 60 per cent of the vote with over half the ballots counted.

Museveni's closest rival, Kizza Besigye, stood at 34 per cent in the election marred by clashes between opposition demonstrators and security forces.

Violence erupted in the capital Kampala on Friday when police stormed Besigye's party offices, briefly arresting him on accusations of illegally running a parallel vote counting centre.

The arrest sparked widespread rioting in the capital. Gunfire was heard, tear gas floated in the air and 18 people were reported to have been injured, 10 of them seriously.

The 71-year-old Museveni took power in 1986 following a guerrilla campaign and has won four elections since 1996.

Critics say the government has resorted to a media clampdown, temporary arrests of the main opposition candidates and the backing of a militia-like group to allow Museveni to extend his three-decade rule.

Thursday's presidential and parliamentary elections were marred by delays and isolated bouts of violence, such as the police tear-gassing of voters in a Kampala suburb.

The government also shut down Twitter, Facebook and mobile money transactions on election day.

There was concern that accusations of rigging could exacerbate the violence.

The Electoral Commission is expected to announce the final resultslate afternoon Saturday.

Last update: Sat, 20/02/2016 - 14:11
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