Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine filed a legal challenge in the country’s supreme court on Monday seeking cancellation of the results of last month’s presidential election that handed victory to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, his party’s lawyer said.
The former guerrilla leader, who has led the East African country since 1986, was declared winner of the Jan. 14 vote with 59% of the vote, while Wine was given 35%.
Ugandan troops have withdrawn from around the home of opposition leader and pop star Bobi Wine, ending his house arrest since the 14th of January.
With the vote behind him and fraud claims by Wine failing to gain significant traction, Museveni appears to be calculating that he can mollify pressure from Western allies to free his rival without significant risk to his power base.
Uganda’s government spokesman accused the United States on Tuesday of trying to subvert last week’s presidential elections after the U.S. ambassador attempted to visit an opposition leader being held under house arrest.
The sharp, public rebuke to the United States from the Ugandan government is relatively unusual as the two nations are allies.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni won a decisive re-election victory on Saturday, elections officials said, but his main rival Bobi Wine alleges widespread fraud.
Museveni won 5.85 million votes, or 58.6%, while main opposition candidate Wine had 3.48 million votes (34.8%), the Electoral Commission said at a news conference on the final results from Thursday’s election.