Uganda Election Day 2016, Part 1

 

Today Uganda is voting for President and Parliament in its 6th elections since the NRM came to power in 1986. Voting officially began at 7am and runs until 4pm. We are over halfway through the official polling hours. Here’s a round up of some of the events thus far:

The Uganda Communications Commission has confirmed that it shut down social media access throughout the country late yesterday evening (my service stopped at around 23:30).  They cite security concerns. Most social media users in the country are now using VPN to access accounts.

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Numerous precincts reported that ballot papers had not yet arrived, as late as noon.  According to Twitter posts, this Includes some of these areas: Wakiso, Nsambya, Nakosozi, Kanyanya, Nsambya Estate, Kabalagala, Makerere University (all 15 polling stations), Lubaga, Makindye, Bwaise, Ndeeba,  Maganjo, Muyenga, Nansana, Bushenyi, Entebbe, Jinja, and Bunga Hill.

At least one polling station was changed overnight from Tank Hill Primary School to Cinderella Primary School, where later police arrived with tear gas as voters threatened to riot over missing ballot papers. As one twitter account reported:

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There were some last minute candidate drops. Rogers Wadada, Budadiri West, Sironko (INDEP, NRM-leaning) dropped out to avoid splitting the vote and allowing the opposition to win. Buyanja Godfrey Muwonge was disqualified for Kibaale race just hours before the election due to forged signature on nomination papers.

A couple of elections have already been postponed indefinitely due to ballot errors. Dokolo South constituency cancelled the MP race and Mawogola South MP race were both postponed after errors were found in the candidate symbols.

In another area two candidates who withdrew from the Rukungiri MP race were on the ballot still: Alex Kamugisha and Michael Kyakashari.

A spokesperson for the main opposition party (FDC) reports that 8 ballot boxes arrived in Nabweru with pre-ticked ballots.

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Local media are also reporting that Kasese district received at least 28 unsealed ballot boxes.

Among Anita, Bukedea WMP, was arrested for trying to steal ballot papers.

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