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US criticises Ugandan election, calls for Besigye release

US criticises Ugandan election, calls for Besigye release


The United States has criticised the handling of the just concluded Uganda’s disputed presidential election. US is also concerned about the house arrest of an opposition leader,Kizza Besigye.

Incumbent president, Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders and a US ally was declared winner last Saturday.

However, opponents have rejected the election results. European Union and the Commonwealth observers have also criticised the handling of Thursday’s poll.

Main opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye was arrested three times during the period of the election and has been put under house arrest by the police with no means of communication. He described the election as a sham. Another candidate, Amama Mbabazi said the poll was “fundamentally flawed”.

The US State Department Deputy spokesperson,Mark Toner said they are concerned by Besigye’s continued house arrest and the shutting down of social media in the country.

“We call for his immediate release and the restoration of access to all social media sites,” he said.

He said the wide spread reports of irregularities and the conduct of electoral officials is against international standards.

Ugandan deputy government spokesman, Shaban Bantariza, has dismissed the U.S. criticism, saying it “appears partisan and lacks merit.”