KAMPALA, DPA – Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine has withdrawn a petition to challenge election results that cleared the way for the re-election of long-term president Yoweri Museveni, Wine’s spokesman says.
Wine decided to withdraw the petition because some of the court’s judges “hold a bias against us,” Joel Ssenyonyi, spokesman for Wine’s National Unity Platform party, said.
Wine, a pop star turned politician whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, filed the petition to the Supreme Court on February 1, saying the results of the January 14 presidential poll, in which Museveni garnered 58 per cent of the vote and Wine 35 per cent, were rigged.
The 39-year-old represents the main political challenge to Museveni, 76, one of Africa’s longest-serving heads of state, who has ruled the country for 35 years.
Wine has the support of millions of young Ugandans who are frustrated by bad governance, corruption and slow progress after years under Museveni.
Many international election observers – such as those from the EU – were not allowed to monitor the election.
Access to the internet was shut down for days before the vote and the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook restricted.
Wine was placed under de facto house arrest for 10 days after the election, with troops only withdrawing after a court ruled the ongoing deployment around the Wine’s home was illegal.