UGANDA: IS DR. KIZZA BESIGYE PRESIDENT-ELECT?

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Just a few of Dr. Kizza Besigye's many arrests by Ugandan police 

Two candidates claimed victory in Uganda’s presidential election after February 18th polls. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, who has already entered his 31st year in power, and Dr. Kizza Besigye, a medical doctor by training, who has been under arrest or house arrest since election day. In a recent interview, Dr. Besigye said that he had been in police custody 45 times since the 2011 election, and the number climbs daily.

The Ugandan Constitution allows Dr. Besigye 10 days after the election to file a petition disputing the results announced by an Election Commission handpicked by incumbent President Yoweri Museveni. On Saturday his lawyer reported that a team, including another presidential candidate, two of his party’s officials and Kampala’s Lord Mayor-elect, met roadblocks that kept them from meeting with him to prepare the petition due on Tuesday, 03.01.2016.
 
Besigye appears to be leading a nascent nonviolent resistance movement. In a recent press conference he stated that Ugandan citizens are not armed. "We have a besieged regime. The regime is besieged and it's all over with guns and armored vehicles and all kinds of things, as if there is a war situation in the country. They are the only ones with arms. Citizens of Uganda are not armed. We are not even like the Americans, where everybody has guns in their homes. Nobody here has a gun except for the military and the police. So why they should be so scared of their citizens, unarmed citizens, tells the story that this is not a regime with people's will."
 
In the same press conference, he explained the urgency of his “defiance campaign.”  "We cannot continue to live in our country where our resources are stolen with impunity, while our people die for lack of medicine, lack of clean water, and are dying on the terrible roads that are all over the country. This we must stop. We are not going to relent. We are not turning back."
 
Adopting the rhetoric of the American Civil Rights movement, he said that Ugandans shall overcome. "We have rejected the outcome of this election. We shall not cooperate with the military regime. The regime cannot survive without our cooperation. Be strong. We, by the grace of God, shall overcome."
 
 
UPDATE:  Since this was published, former prime minister Amama Mbabazi has filed a petition disputing the election results with the Electoral Commission. Dr. Kizza Besigye's team say that he did not file a petition because he remains under house arrest. On March 2nd, he spoke to BBC Newsday

 

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