UN calls for peaceful polls in Uganda

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UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has expressed concern over reports of violence and tensions in parts of Uganda ahead of Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in the country.

Mr Guterres, in a statement released by his office on Wednesday, urged all stakeholders to ensure the polls were conducted in an inclusive, transparent and peaceful manner.

The Secretary General called on all political actors and their supporters to refrain from the use of hate speech, intimidation and violence.

“Any electoral disputes should be resolved through legal and peaceful means.

“Further calls on the Ugandan authorities, particularly the security forces, to show maximum restraint during this period and act according to established human rights principles,” he said.

The UN chief reiterated the organisation’s commitment to supporting the East African country in its quest for sustainable development and prosperity for its citizens.

Uganda’s long-time President, Yoweri Museveni, 76, is seeking a sixth elected term in office after 35 years in power.

He faces 10 challengers, including music star, Robert Kyagulanyi, best known by his stage name, Bobi Wine, seen as a real threat to him.

Although Mr Museveni is facing nine other candidates in the election, Bobi Wine, loved by the youth, is his main challenger in the election slated for Thursday.

Human rights groups have accused security forces of using excessive force to break up opposition rallies during the campaign, reports the BBC.

The outlet quoted a government spokesman as saying the strong measures were necessary to enforce compliance with a ban on large crowds aimed at checking the coronavirus pandemic.

(NAN)

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