the opponent Bobi Wine challenges the presidential election in court ~ #AFP:

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Mr Wine, a 38-year-old MP and former ragga singer, was widely defeated in the January 14 election, which saw Mr Museveni win a sixth term after a campaign marked by violence that claimed dozens of years. dead.

According to the official results, updated a few days ago, the authoritarian ruler of 76 years collected 58.4% of the vote, against 35.1% for Mr. Wine.

“We want the election annulled, we don’t want him (Museveni) to take part in future elections,” said Medard Sseggona, one of Bobi Wine’s counsel, filing an appeal with the Supreme Court of this East African country.

Mr. Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, immediately denounced the election as a “masquerade”, and claimed to have ample evidence of irregularities. According to the Constitution, the opponent had 15 days after the declaration of the results to contest the ballot, during which the authorities cut off internet access in the country.

The house arrest of the candidate, which had started on polling day, was lifted last week by the courts. After the appeal was filed on Monday, the Supreme Court now has 45 days to rule.

– “Cheating with impunity” –

Other opponents have already tried to challenge Mr. Museveni’s previous electoral victories in court. The authoritarian leader has been systematically elected in every poll in which he has participated since 1996, almost every time with suspicion of fraud.

According to his lawyer, “soldiers broke into polling stations” and stuffed the ballot boxes with pre-filled ballots on January 14. Election registers have also been tampered with at some sites, he said.

“Museveni cannot be allowed to cheat with impunity,” Sseggona said.

The outgoing president, in power for 35 years, assures him that this election has been the most transparent since the country’s independence in 1962.

The election campaign was marked by violence and repression against opposition candidates, prevented from organizing rallies in the name of the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic.

In November, at least 54 people were killed by police in violence triggered by yet another arrest of Mr. Wine, who has been arrested many times since 2018.

– “Very difficult” challenge –

Despite the end of his house arrest, access to the headquarters of his political party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), has been blocked for two weeks by the authorities.

On Monday, the capital Kampala was crisscrossed by armored vehicles and by numerous police patrols. A deployment of security forces that the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Paul Lokech, justified by the threat of violent demonstrations.

The NUP denied these accusations. Its secretary general Lewis David Rubongoya assured that the party advocates “a peaceful alternation in the government of Museveni, without resorting to violence”.

The legal framework for contesting elections is openly criticized in Uganda, as Supreme Court justices only review events that took place on election day and on the day of the declaration of results, without taking into account the election campaign as a whole .

“Case law limits the electoral process to votes, figures and statistics on polling day, which makes contesting an election very difficult,” independent political analyst Crispin Kaheru told AFP.

Before the Supreme Court, Bobi Wine must prove that the irregularities of which he says he is aware had a “substantial” influence on the result of the election. A prerequisite much more demanding than the evidence demanded by civil justice.

The Court does not look at “the process which led to the elections, but only the events which took place during the ballot and on the day of the declaration of the results, which makes the fraudulent acts very difficult to prove”, concludes Mr. Kaheru.

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Source: VOA-AFP.

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About AFP - Agence France Presse.

AGENCE PRANCE-PRESSE (AFP): is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency. AFP has regional headquarters in Nicosia, Montevideo, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C., and news bureaux in 151 countries in 201 locations.

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