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The African Elections Project :  your authoritative African Elections Information and Knowledge online portal, covering elections across the continent

Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
Date:18 Feb 2016
UPDATE: #UgandaVotes: Reports of electoral material delay, ballot and polling stations mismatch plag

[AEP] Halfway through voting and there are still reports coming from across the country of delays and long queues due to non-delivery of voting materials to certain parts of the country. The elections has also seen the shutdown of key social media sites; Facebook and Twitter forcing citizens to find alternatives to report election incidents online.

According to reports, balloting papers arrived at some polling stations as late as 1: 30pm local time (10:30 GMT) with barely two hours for polls to close.

Voting was due to begin at 07:00 am (0400 GMT) but, despite queues forming outside polling booths, many had still not opened over an hour later. Meanwhile, voting is ongoing in places where voting material arrived on time. The atmosphere has been generally peaceful so far with pockets of skirmishes.

“Ballots just arrived at Kisugu St Stephens” said Ayese Derek, a voter. “No polling material even at 1.30pm (10:30 GMT) in some polling stations. How embarrassing for Uganda” Irene Ikomu another added.

There also reports of ballot boxes arriving at polling centres without lids and ballot papers being sent to wrong destinations. However, EC has said that they will extend voting hours for those areas affected.

Meanwhile, most of the tech-savvy citizens are bitterly complaining about the shutdown of social media by the government over “national security” concerns. Some describe the move as “dictatorship”, “undemocratic”, “a sad day in the history of Uganda” among others. Meanwhile, The Electoral Commission says, they are not aware of the social media shutdown.

The presidential race is seen as a three-way battle between long-term incumbent President Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement and two top opposition candidates – Kizza Besigye (Forum for Democratic Change) and Amama Mbabazi (Go Forward). There are 8 candidates in the presidential race with only 1 female.

Over 15 million Ugandans are registered to vote, casting ballots in over 28,000 polling stations for both a president and members of parliament, with 290 seats being contested by candidates from 29 political parties.

Over 150,000 police, soldiers and other security forces have been deployed to ensure tight security, election officials have said.

Polls are due to close at 04:00 pm (1300 GMT). However, voters in queues at the polling stations before the 4pm deadline will be allowed to vote. #UgandaDecides


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