Uganda: was Museveni election win rigged?

Uganda's long-serving president Yoweri Museveni has secured yet another term in office. The 76-year old has been in power since 1986 and even changed the constitution so he could run for office again. Officially Museveni won 58.64 percent of the votes. His challenger Bobi Wine is saying the election was rigged, but there were no Western election observers on site.

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The Guardian (GB) /

West allows despots to maintain hold on power

Democratic activists in Africa can no longer expect help from Europe and the US, a dismayed Patience Akumu writes from Uganda in The Guardian:

“There was once a time when the free world was a powerful ally in such matters but now it seems it has too many problems of its own to bother with yet another developing country grappling with a leader who will not relinquish his grasp on power. Following difficulties in getting election observers accredited, both the EU and US chose not to send any. Perhaps the west feels that, with its own perceived failures, it does not have the moral authority to lecture Africa.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

His clients are satisfied

However justified the criticism, we cannot just assume that Museveni manipulated the elections, Gazeta Wyborcza counters:

“The results have not necessarily been fixed. Many Ugandans have had enough of Museveni, but he is still popular. For decades the president has successfully built up an effective system of clientelism that allows him to beat his opponents using unfair means without being punished for it. ... Today he is one of the eternal leaders of the African continent. In order stay in power he has twice changed the constitution: in 2005 he removed limits on presidential terms in office and in 2017 he scrapped the ban on the over-75 becoming president. Now he is 76 and is probably hoping to follow in the footsteps of Zimbawean dictator Robert Mugabe and hold onto power until he's in his nineties.”