Uganda's Wine withdraws election result challenge, alleges bias

By Elias Biryabarema KAMPALA (Reuters) - Opposition leader Bobi Wine said on Monday he was dropping a legal challenge to Uganda's presidential election results that handed victory to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, saying Supreme Court justices hearing the case were biased. Museveni, a former guerrilla leader who has led the East African country since 1986, was declared winner of the Jan. 14 election with 59% of the vote, while Wine was given 35%

Reuters February 23, 2021 00:12:22 IST
Uganda's Wine withdraws election result challenge, alleges bias

Ugandas Wine withdraws election result challenge alleges bias

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Opposition leader Bobi Wine said on Monday he was dropping a legal challenge to Uganda's presidential election results that handed victory to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, saying Supreme Court justices hearing the case were biased.

Museveni, a former guerrilla leader who has led the East African country since 1986, was declared winner of the Jan. 14 election with 59% of the vote, while Wine was given 35%.

Wine, 39, a pop star and lawmaker whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has rejected the results and said he believed victory was stolen from him. He asked the court to overturn the results on several grounds including widespread use of violence.

"We have decided to withdraw from their court," Wine told a news conference in the capital Kampala. "The courts are not independent, it is clear these people (judges) are working for Mr. Museveni."

As proof, he cited the court's decision to reject an application he had made to file additional evidence he said showed pre-ticking of ballots, false tallies of ballots, impossibly high voter turnout and other irregularities.

Wine also said some of the court's judges had met Museveni several times since he filed the petition and some of the meetings had been secret. "We are convinced that the Supreme Court has a pre-determined mind," he said.

Solomon Muyita, a judiciary spokesman, told Reuters judicial authorities would only respond to Wine's accusations and decision to withdraw the case when he had formally quit the case through his lawyers.

"Right now what he has done is, he has only made a political statement. As far as the records of the Supreme Court are (concerned) the case is still there," he said.

Wine has galvanised a large following among young Ugandans.

However, a crackdown by security forces on his supporters over the past few months has left dozens dead and hundreds detained. Wine and other leaders of his National Unity Platform party have also accused security forces of traversing the country and abducting and torturing his supporters.

Police have said they were investigating all reports of disappearances.

Last week soldiers beat and seriously injured journalists as they covered Wine delivering a petition to the U.N. human rights office in Uganda that requested an investigation into alleged human rights abuses.

On Thursday, the Ugandan military sentenced seven soldiers to up 90 days in jail after they were convicted of assaulting the journalists covering the event.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by Omar Mohammed; Editing by William Maclean and Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.