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  • Citizens cast their votes at a polling station in Najjera, Uganda, Jan. 14, 2021.

    Citizens cast their votes at a polling station in Najjera, Uganda, Jan. 14, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 14 January 2021
Opinion

Since the start of the political campaign in November 2020, the electoral process has been marred by episodes of violence.

Uganda's presidential and parliamentary elections kicked off on Thursday with people queuing up to cast their votes.

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Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni and 10 candidates are vying for the presidency in a hotly contested election. Opinion polls put Museveni and Robert Kyagulanyi, a musician turned politician, as the major contenders.

The country's Electoral Commission on Wednesday said the elections will close at 4 p.m. local time followed by vote counts.

"All the districts have received polling materials...The commission encourages voters to turn up at polling stations by 7 a.m. to witness the opening process," the Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Byabakama said, adding that authorities will declare presidential election results within 48 hours after polling closes.

Since the start of the election campaign in November 2020, the Museveni administration has harshly repressed some demonstrations by its political opponents. Apparently, violence did not stop on Election Day either.

Opposition candidate Wine denounced the arrest of some of his party's polling agents on Thursday morning.

“In 22 districts, our teams are on the run because they are being surrounded and pursued by police and soldiers as if they are criminals,” he said, as reported by Al Jazeera.

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