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The internet was cut off in Uganda when voters cast their votes in a highly competitive election.

A 38-year-old singer challenges 76-year-old Yoweri Museveni in one of the youngest countries in the world.

Robert Kyagulanyi, known by his stage name Bobi Wine, says he represents the country’s younger generation, while Mr Museveni says he stands for stability.

Dozens of people were killed in the run-up to the elections.

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What’s the latest?

Polls were scheduled to open at 7:00 a.m. local time (4:00 a.m. GMT), but voting has been delayed in several areas.

Some polling stations had not opened for almost two hours, and voters in the queue got angry and started yelling at polling station officials, reports Patience Atuhaire of the BBC from the capital Kampala.

Media signatureWhat you need to know about the Uganda elections

She said the cause of the delay was not clear.

Reuters news agency reported that the six polling stations where their reporters noted delays had not received ballots.

Polls are scheduled to close at 4:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. GMT) but will remain open until everyone in line at the time of closing has voted, our correspondent added.

Results are not expected until Saturday.

On site: Technical difficulties ensure a slow start

By Catherine Byaruhanga, BBC News, Kampala

Here in Kibuli, in the shadow of downtown Kampala, voters are slowly registering at the Greenhill School polling station.

Election Commission agents rushed to get ballots, but voting started an hour late. Other polling stations were opened later.

Media signatureUgandan voters: we want peace

Coronavirus guidelines on social distancing and hand washing are tough to implement, but here in Kibuli, everyone in line wears face masks.

There have been reports that a new biometric system for verifying the identity of people is not working in some areas. The electoral commission spokesman would not confirm whether this is because the internet was cut off.

There are questions about how results from across the country are transmitted to the national census center in Kampala without the internet. The electoral commission informed the BBC that systems were in place for this, but did not explain this further.

What security measures have been taken?

Ugandan police vowed to deploy officials on the rooftops of the capital Kampala on election day after opposition activists ordered rooftop protests in November when more than 50 people were killed after Bobi Wine was arrested.

Image rightsEPAImage descriptionArmed police patrol the streets of Kampala

Earlier this week, Mr Museveni issued a sharp warning.

“If you try to disturb the peace, you must blame yourself. The security forces are prepared by law to deal with any troublemaker,” he said in a televised address in military clothing.

How bad was the violence leading up to the elections?

Violence was at an unprecedented level.

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Uganda’s parliamentary elections

January 14, 2021

  • 11Candidates run for president

  • 1One of the candidates is a woman, Nancy Kalembe

  • 5previously elected terms of office for Yoweri Museveni

  • 50% plus 1Votes a candidate needs to avoid a runoff

  • 529MPs are also elected

Source: Uganda Electoral Commission

Security forces cracked down on gatherings ahead of the elections and dozens were killed.

The government says the ban on gatherings should prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while the opposition says it is a smoke screen for repression.

Bobi Wine and others of the 10 opposition candidates were arrested multiple times.

Will the vote be free and fair?

The government previously said that the elections would be free and fair.

However, the US questioned the electoral process and withdrew its election observers after most of its accreditation applications were denied.

In response, Museveni’s spokesman Don Wanyama tweeted that there were observers from the African Union and the East African Community.

“I don’t remember the last time Uganda sent election observers to the US,” he added.

Bobi Wine has asked voters to stay at polling stations on Thursday and use their cell phone cameras to record the counting process to prevent votes being falsified.

Related topics

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  • Yoweri Museveni
  • Uganda
  • Bobi wine

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