Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term in office with 58.64 percent of the vote.
He defeated his main rival, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known as Bobi Wine who trailed with 34.8 percent.
Chairman of Uganda Electoral Commission Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama., announced the result Saturday afternoon.
“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni… elected President of the Republic of Uganda,” Byabakama said.
Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) garnered over 5 million of the 9.9 million valid votes cast to sink other nine contenders.
Wine of the National Unity Party (NUP) came second with 3,475,298 votes. He has alleged widespread voter fraud.
Museveni will now lead Uganda until 2026, making him spend up to 40 years in office.
Campaigning ahead of the vote has been marred by brutal crackdowns on opposition rallies that have left scores dead and the repeated intimidation and arrest of some opposition candidates, their supporters and campaign staff.
While security forces have intimidated the opposition at previous elections, the run up to this year’s vote has been especially violent. In November, 54 people were killed as soldiers and police quelled protests after Wine was detained. Museveni’s main rival suffer intimidation throughout the electoral process.
Hours to Thursday’s election, Uganda banned social media and later, the internet.
Museveni apologised for the inconvenience caused by the ban on social media and messaging apps but he said Uganda had no choice after Facebook took down some accounts which backed his ruling NRM.
“If you want to take sides against the NRM, then that group should not operate in Uganda,” he said. “We cannot tolerate this arrogance of anybody coming to decide for us who is good and who is bad.”
Museveni has won every election since the first under his presidency in 1996, though they have been tarnished by intimidation of the opposition and accusations of vote rigging.