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Violence expected after election in Uganda

02-18-2011 08:28 BJT

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Uganda's presidential and parliamentary elections are set to begin Friday. Authorities say they will come down hard on any violence or protests that might occur as people go to the polls.

Long-serving President Yoweri Museveni is expected to win a fourth term in office, despite a fierce challenge from third-time rival and former ally Kizza Besigye.

Museveni is respected for his shepherding of the economy, for stabilizing a once chaotic country and for intervening in regional hotspots such as Somalia.

But support has fallen at home over the last decade and relations with the West have frayed over moves, including scrapping terms limits for presidents, that critics say signal the 67-year-old wants to be president-for-life.

By Ugandan standards, this has been a largely calm campaign, but the electoral commission says the government is not taking any chances.

The commission also identified 21 external organizations to help ensure the vote is carried out without disruption from trouble makers.

The threat of violence has come largely from 54-year-old Besigye who raised the stakes in the election battle in the coffee-growing country of 32 million people by saying if the opposition loses, it will be because of a rigged vote.

Uganda's Police Inspector General says any sign of civil unrest will be dealt with severely.

The talk of violence weakened Uganda's currency and Uganda's investment authority says business decisions are being delayed because of the poll.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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