Uganda's Very Suspicious Presidential Election "Survey"
Their skepticism about the "survey" seem well warranted--unless the Uganda government minister is the country's own version of Nostradamus. In an interview in September, while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Uganda's minister of International Relations, Oryem Henry Okello, claimed Museveni would get re-elected with 62% of the vote.
[Black Star News Editorial]
On December 17, Uganda's major daily newspapers, The Daily Monitor and the government-owned mouthpiece, The New Vision, reported on their front pages the results of an "independent" survey indicating that the dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni would win February's presidential elections, earning 66% of the votes.
The "survey" is laughable, given that a government minister had already offered a similar margin of victory in a "prediction" three months earlier.
Naturally, the political opposition parties in Uganda have also rejected the recent "survey" pointing out that even with alleged rigging, Gen. Museveni had "won" the last two elections with diminishing margins. He's even much more unpopular today than he was five years ago, these political opponents contend.
In 2001, amid allegations of massive rigging, Gen. Museveni won 69% to chief challenger Dr. Besigye's 28%; and in 2006, he was awarded 59% to Dr. Besigye's 37%. If Gen. Museveni were to lose an additional 10% points or more to his challengers, the voting would head into a runoff; a winning candidate is required to win at least 51% to avoid a second round.
Their skepticism about the "survey" seems well warranted--unless the Uganda government minister is the country's own version of Nostradamus. In an interview in September, while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Uganda's minister of International Relations, Oryem Henry Okello, claimed Museveni would get re-elected with 62% of the vote.
The recent survey in Uganda, by a company called AfroBarometer, is said to have been conducted between November 18 and December 6, 2010.
AfroBarometer's poll results said if elections were held now: Museveni would earn 66% of the vote; Dr. Kizza Besigye's Forum For Democratic Change (FDC) would garner 12%; Norbert Mao heading the Democratic Party (DP), 3%; Olara Otunnu and the Uganda People's Congress (UPC), 3%; and Beti Kamya of the Uganda Federal Alliance, 1%.
Here's how The Black Star News reported minister Oryem Okello's comments in September, when he offered the figures for each of the major contestants, without hesitation or pause: "The minister offered his prediction for next year's outcome: The ruling NRM party, 62%; FDC, 18%; DP, 5%; UPC, 3%; and the balance split by minor parties."
Mere coincidence that this government official would hazard such figures which now approximates the numbers released by the "survey" conducted by a polling company called "AfroBarometer."
Certainly worth further investigation.
If the Ugandan president was so confident of victory, it would be in his best interest to agree with the opposition political parties' demands to scrape his hand-picked Election Commission and allow an independent body to be composed with input from other political parties and other major stakeholders in the election.
Gen. Museveni's major benefactor, the United States --in a Congressionally mandated report released by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton-- has already called for an independent election commission and warned that the outcome of the elections would otherwise be compromised.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."