One of African’s longest serving Presidents, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has admitted to rigging the recently held 2016 general elections which was marred by allegations of ballot rigging, violence, voter intimidation and arrest of the main opposition leader Mr. Kizza Besigye.
Mr. Museveni who has been in power for 30 years since he assumed office in January 1986 admitted this during the recent African Union meeting in Rwanda. He assured South African President Jacob Zuma and other East African leaders who were present at the meeting that, he was going to call for election re-run after he has fully discussed the issue with his Cabinet for the sake of national unity.
Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) won 60.8% of the vote in presidential elections, while the main opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, secured 35.4%, according to the country’s electoral commission. The EU observer mission described the election had been conducted in an intimidating atmosphere, while Commonwealth observers felt that the poll “fell short of meeting some key democratic benchmarks”.
Even before the results were announced, police encircled the headquarters of the FDC opposition party as Besigye met members. After Besigye’s arrest, his supporters took to the streets, prompting riot police to fire teargas and stun grenades at them, as well as warning shots from automatic rifles.
Besigye’s party alleged widespread vote-rigging took place and accused the government of deliberately stalling the voting in opposition strongholds in Kampala and the neighbouring Wakiso district.
Sources close to the Presidency indicates there has been a series of discussions in the past week and a new election date would be announced by the President which is likely to fall in the first quarter of next year.