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Uganda

Yearbook 2016

Uganda. According to countryaah, Presidential elections were held in February, but even though eight candidates ran, few doubted that anyone other than Yoweri Museveni, president since 1986, would win. The strongest opposition candidate, like the three previous elections, was the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Kizza Besigye.

2016 Uganda

A few days before the election, violent riots broke out between opposition supporters and the police, who used rubber bullets and tear gas against the protesters. At least one person lost their lives and Besigye was arrested by police but later released. On Election Day, social media was blocked and Besigye was placed under house arrest. When the election results were announced, Museveni had received 61% of the vote against 35% for Besigye. The latter accused the regime of gross electoral fraud and when he was released a few days later, he and his supporters marched against the Election Commission premises. Then he was arrested for the fourth time in eight days, accused of disrupting the general order.

In May, Besigye was arrested again when he gave a speech in the capital Kampala the day before Museveni was to be installed for a new term. Because he claimed he was the rightful winner of the presidential election and swore the presidency during his own ceremony, which was filmed and circulated on social media, Besigye was charged the same month for high treason, a crime that could result in the death penalty. He was released on bail in July. After spending some time abroad, Besigye returned to Uganda in October and was immediately arrested. The harassment by the authorities against him also continued thereafter.

In September, a member of parliament from the National Party Movement (NRM) filed a motion to remove the upper age limit for the president (75 years). Previously, the rule on a maximum of two terms of office has been abolished, which allowed Museveni, who was born in 1944, to remain as president. However, the motion was halted by President Rebecca Kadaga, who said such a reform would trigger a constitutional crisis.

In November, clashes broke out between government forces and King Charles Wesley Mumber's guards in Rwenzuru, one of Uganda's traditional kingships. Nearly 90 people were killed in the clashes, which, according to authorities, began with militiamen attacking police and soldiers from the regular army. The king was arrested and prosecuted, accused of trying to create a new republic in western Uganda, at the border with Congo (Kinshasa).

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