Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni wins re-election after 35 years in power

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth-term in office, the electoral body said on Saturday.

Museveni, 76 and in power since 1986, received 5.85 million votes to beat his main challenger Bobi Wine who got 3.48 million votes, according to the Electoral Commission.

The United States described the electoral process as “fundamentally flawed.”

Tibor Nagy, the U.S. State Department’s top diplomat for Africa, said in a tweet on Saturday that the “electoral process has been fundamentally flawed”, citing reports of fraud, blocked accreditation to observers, violence, harassment of opposition, internet blackouts, suppressed news election coverage, and activists’ arrest.

Mr. Wine alleged widespread fraud and encouraged citizens to reject the result. The Electoral Commission Chairman, Simon Byabakama, said, the burden of proof rested with Wine.

A day before the election results were called in the capital, Kampala, Wine’s home was reported to be surrounded by hundreds of soldiers who prevented him from leaving. The army’s deputy spokesman, Deo Akiiki, told Reuters that the show of force was to assess threats he could face by going out: “So they might be preventing him in the interest of his own safety.”

Museveni ran on the platform that his experience was an asset to the country, claiming he has kept Uganda stable. Wine, 38, called for political change and jobs and education for youths, pledging to end widespread corruption.

According to The World Bank, 700,000 youth will reach working age every year in Uganda, while only 75,000 jobs are created each year. Leaving more than 70% of Ugandans employed mainly living on a subsistence basis will continue to drive the poverty rate down. World Bank also noting that an average of one million youth will reach working age between 2030-2040.

Kristi Pelzel is a Senior White House correspondent for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Kristi also covers the US Department of State and the United Nations. She holds a master's degree from Georgetown University.

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