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Elections in Uganda 2021: Bobi Wine faces Yoweri Museveni

It was not always possible to maintain social distancing in electoral queues

The internet was cut in Uganda as voters cast their ballots in a hotly contested election.

A 38-year-old singer challenges Yoweri Museveni, 76, in one of the youngest countries in the world.

Robert Kyagulanyi, known by his stage name Bobi Wine, says he represents the country’s younger generation, while Mr Museveni says he advocates for stability.

Dozens of people have been killed in the run-up to the elections.

What’s the last one?

Polls were scheduled to close at 4:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. GMT) but will remain open until everyone in the queue at the time of closing has voted, reports the BBC’s Patience Atuhaire from the capital, Kampala.

Some polling stations did not open for nearly two hours and voters in the queue became angry and started yelling at polling station officials, our correspondent added.

She said the cause of the delay was unclear.

The Reuters news agency reports that in the six polling stations where their reporters noted delays, the ballots did not arrive.

The results are not expected until Saturday.

What is the scope of the shutdown?

Along with not being able to connect online, there are reports that people are even having difficulty sending text messages.

Earlier in the week, authorities ordered the blocking of social networks, messaging apps and some virtual private network (VPN) sites that people use to bypass social media blocks.

Ugandan authorities appear to have ordered internet providers to shut down all internet at 7:00 p.m. local time (4:00 p.m. GMT) the day before the elections, according to a letter shared by freelance journalist Samira Sawlani .

In the letter, which we have not verified, the Uganda Communications Commission orders internet providers to “put in place a temporary suspension of the operation of all your internet gateways and associated access points.”

Although he says the order was temporary, the letter did not indicate when the suspension was due to end.

Internet access advocacy group Access Now has urged telecom providers to challenge the ruling, saying they should be “human rights facilitators, not gatekeepers“.

How will the results be transmitted without the Internet?

By Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC News, Kampala

Coronavirus guidelines on social distancing and handwashing are proving difficult to implement, but here in Kibuli, which lies in the shadow of downtown Kampala, everyone in the line carries face masks.

There are reports that a new biometric system to verify people’s identities is not working in some areas. The spokesperson for the electoral commission did not confirm whether it was because the Internet was cut.

There are questions about how the results of the whole country will be transmitted to the national control center in Kampala without the internet. The Election Commission told the BBC it had systems in place to do this, but did not explain further.

What security measures have been put in place?

Ugandan police have vowed to deploy officers to the rooftops of the capital Kampala on election day, which they say comes after opposition activists ordered rooftop protests in November, when more than 50 people were killed after the arrest of Bobi Wine.

Ugandan military forces and police patrol a ringed road in the capital Kampala one day before the presidential elections in Uganda on January 13, 2021.
Armed police patrol the streets of Kampala

Earlier this week, Mr Museveni issued a stern warning.

“If you try to disrupt the peace, you yourself will be to blame. The security forces, by law, are ready to face any troublemaker,” he said in a televised lattice speech. military.

How serious was the violence during the campaign?

The violence has reached an unprecedented level.

Security forces cracked down on gatherings ahead of the elections and dozens of people were killed.

The government says the ban on gatherings was aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus while the opposition says it was a smokescreen for the crackdown.

Bobi Wine and others of the 10 opposition candidates have been arrested on several occasions.

Will the vote be free and fair?

It depends on who you ask.

The government has previously declared the elections to be free and fair.

But the United States questioned the electoral process and withdrew its election observers after most of their accreditation requests were denied.

In response, Mr. Museveni’s spokesperson Don Animals tweeted that there were observers from the African Union and the East African Community.

“I don’t remember the last time Uganda sent election observers to the United States,” he added.

Bobi Wine called on voters to stay in polling stations on Thursday and use their cell phone cameras to record the tally process in a bid to prevent vote rigging.

Who is Yoweri Museveni?

Mr. Museveni is running for a sixth elected term, as leader of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

He came to power following an armed uprising in 1986 and has long been portrayed to Ugandans as a liberator and bearer of peace.

But he has managed to maintain his grip on power through a mixture of encouragement of a personality cult, favoritism, compromise of independent institutions and sidelining of opponents, says Patience Atuhaire of the BBC.

Who is Bobi Wine?

Bobi Wine is widely believed to be the strongest of the 10 opposition presidential candidates.

The 38-year-old reggae star is known to his followers as the president of the ghetto.

Bobbi Wine votes on January 14, 2021
Bobbi Wine votes on January 14, 2021

His party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), campaigns for basic needs such as improving access to health care, education, clean water and justice.

Over the past two decades, Bobi Wine’s musical production has been filled with songs on these issues and they have inspired a devout audience.

He grew up in the Kamwokya slum in Kampala where he later built his now world famous recording studio.

General elections in Uganda.  January 14, 2021 [ 18.1m people have registered to vote ] [ 11 candidates are running for president ],[ 1 of the candidates is a woman, Nancy Kalembe ],[ 5 elected terms so far for Yoweri Museveni ],[ 50% plus 1 votes needed for a candidate to avoid a run-off election ],[ 529 MPs will also be elected ], Source: Source: Ugandan Election Commission, Image: A masked woman in front of a mural
General elections in Uganda. January 14, 2021 [ 18.1m people have registered to vote ] [ 11 candidates are running for president ],[ 1 of the candidates is a woman, Nancy Kalembe ],[ 5 elected terms so far for Yoweri Museveni ],[ 50% plus 1 votes needed for a candidate to avoid a run-off election ],[ 529 MPs will also be elected ], Source: Source: Ugandan Election Commission, Image: A masked woman in front of a mural




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