Presidential election is under way in Uganda as longtime President Yoweri Musuveni faces a tough re-election bid against a pop star-turned-opposition leader, Bobi Wine.
Wine, who is the opposition frontrunner seeks to take power from Musuveni who has been in office since 1986 in Thursday’s election being held in strict compliance to COVID-19 restrictions.
The race leading to the election was marred by violence due to crackdowns on opposition rallies across the country.
One of such crackdowns led to the death of more than 50 people who were killed by security forces with police defending their actions on the ground that it was necessary to ensure strict observance to COVID-19 protocols.
Al Jazeera reports that Internet access has been cut off, and there are fears of unrest as security forces try to stop supporters of leading opposition challenger Bobi Wine from monitoring polling stations.
Nine other candidates are challenging to take power from Musuveni who is seeking a sixth term in office as the East African country’s leader.
Analysts believe that a tough opposition in the person of Bobi Wine, whose popularity among a youthful population has rattled the 76-year-old former rebel leader.
Statistically, more than 18 million people have registered to take part in the polls.
According to the provisions of the country’s electoral law, a candidate must win more than 50 percent to avoid a runoff situation.
Parliamentary votes are also being held in the country.
Various reports indicate that there’s heavy presence of security forces across the country, especially in Wine’s strongholds.