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Ugandans gear up for February 18 elections

Ugandans gear up for February 18 elections


Political tension is high in Uganda, as the 37 million population prepare for the national elections on February,18.

The election is tagged “A three-horse race” between Museveni and his seasoned opponent Kizza Besigye and his former ally Amama Mbabazi.

The country would be electing its president for the next five years. Current President, Yoweri Museveni will be contesting for his fifth term.

Nine candidates made up of eight men and a woman will be contesting for this year’s presidential race.

However, current reports seems to point to the fact that Museveni is holding on to the grabs he made in the Northern part of the country in the 2011 election.

This may increase his victory in the area and ultimately give his party a winning ticket in the coming elections.

With just less than a month to go, Africanews profiles the key candidates.

Yoweri Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986 after a civil war and has been in office since then. He is with the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The country’s 1996 and 2001 elections were held under the one party system referred to as “No party” democracy. In 2005, the multi party system was introduced into the country’s political system and Museveni won three presidential terms since then. He is currently running for his fifth term, which would extend his 30 years rule as president of Uganda.

Dr Kizza Besigye

Besigye has been described as a persistent contender.He is the candidate for the country’s main opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the party has stood against Museveni in three elections and had lost.

Besigye actually served as Museveni’s personal physician while the Ugandan president was plotting the overthrow of Milton Obote’s government in the early 1980. He accused the NRM of corruption in 2001 and ran against president Museveni for the first time in 2001.

According to an East Africa analyst,Ahmed Salim Besigye’s doggedness has been a constant factor in winning over voters.

“He still manages to capture a lot of admiration amongst Ugandans. His perseverance, tendency to really fight the establishment, having a strong base [and is] perhaps even more popular than Mbabazi,” says Salim.

Amama Mbabazi

Also called the new kid on the block in the 2016 presidential election, he served in Museveni’s government for more than 20 years and was prime minister between 2001 and 2014. He was sacked from office by Museveni in 2014 for divisive activities.

Mbabazi in June 2015 announced his intention to run for the NRM nomination but later disclosed he would be running for presidency on an independent ticket while remaining an NRM member.

In the course of his campaigning, he has made several ambitious promises, including creating four million jobs within five years.