KAMPALA — Veteran President Museveni was Monday nominated to contest in 2021 general election as he seeks to extend his rule to the fourth decade.
Museveni, 76, a former rebel leader who seized power in 1986 and was first elected a decade later, changed the constitution in 2005 to abolish a two-term limit.
Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama declared Museveni as a duly nominated presidential candidate at 10:30 am.
”I, Justice Simon Byabakama, declare Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, a duly nominated presidential candidate for the 2021 general election…I want to commend the first aspiring candidate for keeping time. If any candidate tests positive, (s) he will be nominated in absentia,” Byabakama said.
Museveni appreciated the people who nominated him and participated in the collection of signatures that were required by Electoral commission.
”I have been duly nominated by the Independent Electoral Commission as a candidate for the 2021 presidential election. I thank my nominators, the two young people, Nassur Gaddafi and Hellen Seku,” he said.
He emphasized the need to follow the coronavirus containment rules and also urged all Ugandans to maintain peace.
Securing a new term would potentially extend the 76-year-old former rebel fighter’s rule to four decades.
Critics complain Museveni has been using anti-coronavirus measures like bans on public gatherings to secure an advantage and stymie preparations by opponents.
Other rights groups have long accused him of deploying security forces to intimidate opponents while using public finances to reward loyalists and expand his support.
In power since 1986, Museveni’s tenure is only surpassed in Africa by Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang, who has ruled since 1979 and Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has ruled since 1982.
Museveni is facing a challenge from music star-turned-politician Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi who is expected to be nominated on Tuesday.
Bob Wine has won support among a youthful population who have only ever known one president.