Long-time leader Yoweri Museveni holds commanding lead in presidential election according to partial results, although his main rival Bobi Wine alleges widespread fraud.

Uganda's poll followed one of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media, and the deaths of at least 54 people.
Uganda's poll followed one of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media, and the deaths of at least 54 people. (Reuters)

Uganda's Yoweri Museveni looked headed for a sixth term as president with election results placing him firmly ahead of his main rival, who has cried fraud and whose home has been put under heavy guard.

The country's election commission announced on Saturday that with 86.7 percent of polling stations reporting results, Museveni had 58.8 percent of votes, while former popstar Bobi Wine had 34.2 percent.

Final results are expected by afternoon.

Wine, 38, meanwhile was on track to see his newly formed National Unity Platform (NUP) become the main opposition party in Parliament, notably winning eight of nine constituencies in the capital Kampala.

READ MORE: Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine says he is under military siege

Oppressive election

The poll followed one of the most violent campaigns in years, with harassment and arrests of the opposition, attacks on the media, and the deaths of at least 54 people.

Thursday's election took place in an apparent calm but under the oppressive presence of soldiers and riot police and an internet blackout which has now entered its fourth day.

However, Wine has alleged widespread fraud such as ballot-box stuffing and said his party agents had in some places been beaten and chased away from polling stations.

"Whatever is being declared is a complete sham, we reject it and we dissociate ourselves with it," he said on Friday.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, promised to provide video evidence once the internet was restored. 

READ MORE: The world should pay heed to Bobi Wine and Uganda's election

'I feel threatened'

Election commission chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said "the onus is on candidate Kyagulanyi to show how votes are rigged."

On Friday late afternoon Wine told AFP news agency he felt under threat as soldiers surrounded his home

"They jumped over my fence. They came inside my compound. They are here right now. I don't know why they're here. But I'm imagining they are here to harm me. I feel threatened," said the 38-year-old, who described the invasion as unprecedented and "a siege".

The army's deputy spokesman Deo Akiiki said the soldiers were there to provide security and had stopped three people who tried to "access the house".

Security forces had sealed off a wide perimeter around Wine's sprawling compound on Saturday and told international journalists they were not permitted to enter, witnesses said.

Luke Owoyesigyire, the deputy spokesman for Kampala's metropolitan police, said he was unaware that reporters were being blocked and would make checks. It was not immediately possible to reach Wine for comment.

Police have advised people not to go out to celebrate or protest when results are announced citing draconian Covid-19 regulations which have regularly been used to crackdown on the opposition.
READ MORE:
 Uganda's Bobi Wine accuses military of raiding his home

35 years of Museveni

Museveni has ruled Uganda without pause since seizing control in 1986 when he helped to end years of tyranny under Idi Amin and Milton Obote. He is one of Africa's longest-serving leaders.

Once hailed for his commitment to good governance, the former rebel leader has crushed any opposition and tweaked the constitution to allow himself to run again and again.

And for many in the country, where the median age is 16 and most have known only one president, Museveni's glory days are no longer relevant or sufficient.

Wine, with his humble origins in a slum and popular songs about economic and social injustice, struck a chord with the youth, but observers say the odds were stacked against him with Museveni's powerful grip on the state.

The election took place with no major international observer mission aside from the African Union, with the United States saying too many of its staff were denied permission to monitor the vote.

READ MORE: Uganda election: Reggae star Bobi Wine vies to unseat long-serving Museveni

Source: AFP