Election results are in and the winner by a landslide is…the people of Uganda. Yes, as the world fretted that we couldn’t run a free and fair election, or that we would erupt in violence and mayhem, here we are, calmly receiving the election declaration.
The Electoral Commission declared President Yoweri Museveni as the winner with 60.75% of the vote. Dr. Kizza Besigye received 35.37%, and Amama Mbabazi had 1.43%. The other 5 opposition candidates each received less than 1% of the votes. The results were announced within 48 hours of polls closing, as is mandated by law.
Other than in 2001, this election saw a higher turnout of voting age population (63.5%) than any other year in Ugandan election history. In total, 9.7 million ballots were cast, which is more ballots than any other election in Uganda’s history.
Other than a few incidents provoked by Dr. Besigye, who vowed from the beginning to run a campaign of defiance, there were no reports of election violence and the election was peaceful. There were a few delays, but were quickly addressed by the Electoral Commission and those voting stations prolonged the vote accordingly to make sure all voters who wanted to cast a ballot were able to do so.
Like any democracy, those who wanted the winning candidate are happy, and those who supported the other candidates may be disappointed. A few, like Dr. Besigye, may even cry foul, as is his right to do with free speech in democracies. No matter which side we were on during the election, we Ugandans now stand together and have accepted the results as the will of the majority.
Uganda decided, and the people have won!