KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Uganda's electoral commission said Friday that President Yoweri Museveni leads in Thursday's election with results in from 29% of polling stations, receiving 63% of ballots while top opposition candidate Bobi Wine has 28%.
Wine, a popular singer-turned-lawmaker half the president's age, alleges that the vote in the East African country was rigged. The electoral commission said the burden is on him to prove it. Wine said he would provide evidence of pre-ticked ballots and other irregularities once internet access in Uganda is restored.
“We secured a comfortable victory,” Wine told reporters. “I am very confident that we defeated the dictator by far.”
The largely peaceful vote followed a violent campaign period in which Wine was arrested multiple times on various charges, but never convicted, and saw dozens of his party members detained. He has said he feared for his life.
There was a heavy police presence near his home Friday.
Final election results are expected by Saturday evening. The electoral commission said Museveni had 1.8 million votes so far while Wine had more than 820,000. It noted 3 million votes so far, or 16% of registered voters.
Internet access remained cut in Uganda after the government ordered it Wednesday evening, but the electoral commission asserted that it will have no effect on the process.
The vote’s generational clash has been widely watched in many African countries where booming youthful populations express frustration with longtime leaders amid the stresses of high unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Museveni has led Uganda since 1986 and still has support among some in Uganda for bringing stability. A longtime U.S. security ally, he once criticized African leaders who refused to step aside but has since overseen the removal of term limits and an age limit on the presidency.