Uganda: Vote count under way after hotly contested election

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 Ugandan electoral commission officials count ballot papers after elections at a polling station in Kampala [Sumy Sadurni/AFP]

Ugandans have voted under heavy security and an internet blackout in an election pitting veteran leader Yoweri Museveni against a former popstar Bobi Wine after one of the bloodiest campaigns in years.

Voting in Kampala took place under heavy military and police presence on Thursday, with no reports of violent incidents making their way through the communications shutdown.

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Vote-count is under way after polling stations closed as people turned out in droves to make their mark in an historic, hotly contested election in which Museveni’s reign is said to be strongly tested.

READ ALSO: Uganda Elections 2021 Results: Bobi Wine vs Yoweri Museveni 

Long lines of voters snaked out of polling stations in the capital, a stronghold for an opposition galvanised by Bobi Wine despite a campaign scarred by deadly crackdowns.

There are 17.7 million registered voters and results are expected within 48 hours. Turnout looked robust, based on footage from polling stations broadcast by private TV channels.

After polls closed at 4pm local time, hundreds of Bobi Wine supporters in Kampala returned to their polling stations to heed his call to “protect the vote” by watching the count

At the station where Bobi Wine voted, security forces chased his supporters away.

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