Ugandans are being called to the polls this Thursday, January 14, 2021, to elect their President. The polling stations opened this morning at 7 a.m. Some 18 million Ugandans will decide, in the more than 34,000 polling stations, between the candidates for the seat of president and the deputation. The presidential election will notably oppose the outgoing President Yoweri Museveni to the young singer Bobi Wine.
Ugandans have from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (4:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. GMT) to elect their President and MPs to sit in Parliament. This, after an electoral campaign more violent than the previous ones. Indeed, several arrests, riots and dozens of deaths were counted. Authorities on Tuesday suspended social networks and courier services until further notice. The internet network is also very slow, even inaccessible in some places of the capital Kampala on Thursday.
The opposition has expressed concerns about the fairness and transparency of the ballot. Journalists, regime critics and observers were prevented from working during the particularly violent campaign. A dozen candidates are in the running, without the veteran Kizza Besigye who has not applied after four attempts and as many losses to outgoing President Yoweri Museveni, candidate of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
But the candidacy of Bobi Wine, 38, a famous singer elected deputy in 2017 stands out. Despite his young age, he established himself in a divided opposition as the President’s main opponent. It is popular with young people, especially urban youth, a significant population in a country where the median age is below 16 years.