Uganda’s Supreme Court hears election challenge

Judges in Uganda on Monday began hearing a legal challenge to last month’s election that saw President Yoweri Museveni win a fifth term.

Third-placed Amama Mbabazi submitted a legal petition two weeks ago challenging the February 18 vote result.

Museveni’s closest rival, Kizza Besigye, was arrested several times during the campaign and on election day itself, which he said prevented him from lodging a similar legal challenge.

The hearing of evidence is to be completed this week with Uganda’s nine Supreme Court judges to rule on the challenge by the month’s end.

The main witness in Monday’s hearing was Election Commission chief Badru Kiggundu who presided over the last two presidential elections, both won by Museveni.

When questioned by Mbabazi’s lawyers, Kiggundu apologised for “significant problems” faced by voters in the capital Kampala and the surrounding Wakiso district, both opposition strongholds, where polling materials arrived late or not at all.

Museveni was last month declared winner with 61 percent of the vote and has rejected claims that his victory was achieved by foul play.

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