How Quickly Will U.S., Museveni "ally", Endorse Uganda's Bogus Presidential "Elections"?

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[Black Star News Editorial]

Uganda Vote 2011: Dead And Ghost Voters Propel Incumbent

The Ugandan presidential election of February 18 are living up to the predictions of incumbent dictator Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni and his critics--that the president would "win."

The key question is whether major Western countries that have sustained Museveni's dictatorship, the U.S. and the U.K., will endorse these sham elections, where the president was openly bribing voters and whose operatives were reportedly stuffing ballot boxes on Friday. Local newspapers in Uganda did an exemplary job documenting the corruption. Foreign newspapers, such as The New York Times undermined their efforts when the Times correspondent, Jeffrey Gettleman, whose articles occasionally reads like press releases from Gen. Museveni, made references, in passing, in two stories, that the general was "expected to win"; thereby endorsing the theft.

Ethically and professionally corrupted journalism at its worse.

Opposition leaders Dr. Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Olara Otunnu of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC), have already rejected the outcome of the vote.  Dr. Besigye in a news conference denounced what he called "massive rigging" on an unprecedented scale. Ironically, in 1980, Museveni himself went to the bush to launch his insurgency after those elections were allegedly rigged.

For several months now the opposition had denounced the process leading towards the election, including the composition of the Election Commission, which was hand-picked by Gen. Museveni. The opposition parties --primarily the FDC, the UPC and the Democratic Party (DP)--insisted that Gen. Museveni would rig the elections. Yesterday, on the day of the vote, the FDC was able to produce intercepted ballots that had already been checked off for Gen. Museveni and were being transported to an election center for stuffing.

Also yesterday information relayed from a source close to the presidency was provided to The Black Star stating that a command center for rigging the outcome of the election had been established by the government and that it was operating and would award Gen. Museveni 67.2% of the vote. In a September 25, 2010 interview with The Black Star News, a Uganda government minister Henry Oryem Okello "predicted" that Gen. Museveni would win by 62%.

With 78% of the polling stations reporting results, Gen. Museveni is being given 68.7% of the provisional results, the FDC's Dr. Besigye 25.4%, the UPC's Olara Otunnu 1.8%, DP's Norbert Mao 2%, with the balance distributed among other minor candidates.

Both the FDC and UPC are expected to challenge the validity of the Uganda elections in court. In 2006, Dr. Besigye's court challenge after elections he claimed were also stolen almost prevailed; the Supreme Court voted narrowly 4-3 against nullifying the results.

Days before the Friday voting for Election 2011 started, a major monitoring group in Uganda, the Democracy Monitoring Group (DEMGroup) issued a report essentially repudiating the voters' register. According to DEMGroup, there were: 139,541 dead people listed on the National Voters Register; there were more than half a million "unknown people"; 1.9 million people had changed their locations; 418,623 registered voters were foreigners ineligible to vote; 5,000 registered voters were 100-years old or older; and 4,629 voters had the same name and birthdate, and the same polling station.

Earlier, a Ugandan based in London also found his name on the voters list and wondered whom "he" would vote for.

The United States has been a major financial and military backer of Gen. Museveni's 25-years of dictatorship on Uganda, in recent years because he's provided troops to help prop up the U.S. installed government in Somalia. Yet last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was directed by the U.S. Congress to monitor the Uganda elections, denounced the composition of the Election Commission. In a report to Congress Clinton wrote that the "exclusion of key stakeholders from the appointment process compromised the Commision's independence and will damage the credibility of the 2011 electoral process."

There were several troubling developments prior to the elections: The opposition parties brought several cases before the courts, challenging the integrity of the electoral process due to inflated voter's register, ghost polling stations, millions of voters allowed to vote without voter's ID, bribery, and violence. All the cases were rejected by the court, indicating that the judiciary is not independent.

Both UPC and FDC have indicated that they willl go to the court to challenge these results. Let's see what Secretary Clinton says this time. Under the Congressional directive, she is to produce a mandated report 30 days after the election, which is March 18. The US played a major role in getting Nigeria to change its electoral
commission but did not act similarly with respect to Uganda.

The outcome of these bogus Uganda presidential elections had already been pre-determined by Gen. Museveni and his hand-picked Election Commission. Now the question is, which countries or major international organizations will endorse these bogus elections and potential legitimize and impose five more years of dictatorship on Ugandans?

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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