Ugandans brace for Musenveni life presidency bid

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who took 35 percent of the vote and accused Museveni of rigging the election, told Reuters he expected the president to try to remain in office.

“Whether he changes the constitution or not, a dictator is an unwelcome thing in our country,” Besigye said. “The defiance campaign … will not stop until the dictator is out of power.”

REPRESENTS STABILITY

On the streets of Kampala, many voters said they would be shocked if Museveni were to relinquish power, either by naming a successor or announcing his retirement. More than three-quarters of Ugandans are under 30 and have never known another president.

In a nation still haunted by decades of chaos under leaders such as Idi Amin, who ran a ruthless police state in the 1970s that killed or tortured an estimated 300,000 people, Museveni still represents stability for many.

“Uganda needs a calm leader,” said Benjamin Kashilling, 29, a restaurant manager in Kampala.

Others said it was time to stop the pretence of voting.

“They should just stop bothering us altogether and announce that he has a life presidency,” said Sara, 52, who only gave her first name and says the latest vote was rigged. “Stop wasting our time with these elections.”

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