Uganda election: Yoweri Museveni wins fresh term

The challenger, Kizza Besigye, who won 26% of the vote, alleges election fraud and has rejected the results

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Uganda's Yoweri Museveni has been declared the winner of presidential elections, extending his 25 years in power.

He took 68% of the vote in Friday's poll, the Electoral Commission announced, with his challenger Kizza Besigye on 26%.

Mr Besigye alleges election fraud and has rejected the results.

Mr Besigye earlier threatened to call street protests if he felt the process was not free and fair.

The governing party has been accused of using state resources to bribe voters.

The EU observer mission said the distribution of money and gifts by candidates, especially from the ruling party, had been widely observed.

Analysis

A victory for President Museveni, who has been in power for 25 years, does not come as a great surprise.

Mr Besigye has attracted significant support from Ugandans who are disgruntled with the current leadership but a divided opposition has helped Mr Museveni.

The advantage of incumbency was also great. The governing party, which spent a huge amount of money on the campaign trail, is accused of using state resources to bribe voters.

Some analysts warn that the economy is bound to take a significant hit because of the money pumped into the president's campaign.

"The power of incumbency was exercised to such an extent as to compromise severely the level playing field between the competing candidates and political parties," the EU chief observer's Edward Scicluna said.

During the campaign parliament approved a supplementary budget of 602bn Ugandan shillings ($256m, £158m) of which a significant sum was assigned to the presidency.

EU observers said there had been some improvements since the 2006 election, but avoidable administrative and logistical failures had led to an "unacceptable number of people being disenfranchised".

The presidential race was largely peaceful, but there were several clashes between supporters of rival candidates in the parliamentary elections.

Mr Museveni has vowed to stop any street protests.

Kizza Besigye addresses reporters in Kampala, 19 February It was Kizza Besigye's third election bid

Mr Besigye, speaking before the final results were announced, told reporters that he would consult his allies on Sunday to discuss the next move.

"It's already very clear there were widespread malpractices in the electoral process," he told a news conference on Saturday.

"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."

The opposition candidate was standing against Mr Museveni for the third time.

Mr Besigye and Mr Museveni were allies in the guerrilla war which brought the latter to power in 1986, but they later fell out.

Mr Museveni has defeated his challengers every five years since 1996, though his support was steadily declining before this election.

In 1996, he received about 75% of the vote, but this fell to 59% in 2006.

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