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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

From Uganda to Congo Brazzaville the similar tale of Africa Neo-liberal dictators : Communications cut as Congo president seeks to extend 32-year rule: Tensions have been high since an October constitutional referendum that ended a two-term limit on presidential mandates, allowing 72-year-old former paratrooper colonel Sassou Nguesso to run for office again. The vote also removed a 70-year age limit for the presidency that could have forced one of Africa's five longest-serving leaders to step down.

Communications cut as Congo president seeks to extend 32-year rule

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/World/Communications-cut-Congo-waits-presidential-electoral/-/688340/3128704/-/14y2fsmz/-/index.html


Incumbent Congolese president Denis Sassou Nguesso delivers a speech during the closing rally of his electoral campaign in Brazzaville on March 18, 2016. AFP photo 
By Agencies

Posted  Tuesday, March 22  2016 at  11:53Communications lines were cut in Congo for a second day Monday and business was slack, hit by fears of post-election trouble as the country waited to see if President Denis Sassou Nguesso will keep his grip on power.
The streets of the capital, Brazzaville, were less crowded than usual and there was little traffic on major roads linking the city's north-south quarters, an AFP reporter said.
The head of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) told the media that vote counting had been completed and the nationwide results were in the process of being tabulated, without indicating when they might be announced.
Government spokesman Thierry Moungalla told AFP the results of Sassou Nguesso's bid to extend his 32-year rule will be announced "in a few hours, or a few days".
Government offices remained open Monday but business was slow at the city's biggest market, which sells everything from computers to caterpillars and traditional charms.
"People are scared, scared of the result," said a taxi driver.
Inside the market, a coconut seller said "there haven't been too many people... people are scared the results will be released today and there could be tensions".
Congolese authorities shut down telephone and Internet links during the Sunday vote and on Monday for "reasons of security and national safety".
But Charles Zacharie Bowao, coordinator of the CTE opposition alliance, said the coalition was compiling results itself, based on reports from counting centres.
According to their count opposition candidate Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas said he was "far, very far ahead in Brazzaville".
- Poverty, squalor, unemployment -Tensions have been high since an October constitutional referendum that ended a two-term limit on presidential mandates, allowing 72-year-old former paratrooper colonel Sassou Nguesso to run for office again.
The vote also removed a 70-year age limit for the presidency that could have forced one of Africa's five longest-serving leaders to step down.
But Sunday's vote passed off largely peacefully, aside from an incident when police tear-gassed 200 opposition supporters demanding to be let into a polling station to observe the counting.
Sassou Nguesso has said he has no doubt he will beat his eight rivals, describing election day as a "penalty kick and then victory".
On Friday, five rival presidential contenders -- including former military chief Jean-Marie Mokoko -- signed an agreement to back the strongest candidate among them in the event of a second round vote.



MUST READ:

Uganda's President Extends 30-Year Rule, Detains Rivals After Election


When the US could not risk being dirtied by its Neo-liberal dictator : US critcises Uganda’s 2016 election says Ugandans deserve better : Ugandan election commission lacks 'independence': EU observers

http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.ug/2016/02/when-us-could-not-risk-being-dirtied-by.html

When grey hair does not mean wisdom! Museveni’s minister and Sociology Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere says stealing votes is part of life…although it is painful to be cheated in an election, the aggrieved persons should learn to “live with it.”

  Supporters of Ugandan President Museveni celebrate his election victory in Kampala

Yoweri Museveni wins Ugandan election as observers cry foul 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/12166484/Yoweri-Museveni-wins-Ugandan-election-as-observers-cry-foul.html

European and Commonwealth monitors say poll falls short of democratic benchmarks as former guerilla leader claims fifth term in power 

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was re-elected for his fifth term on Saturday after winning a poll marked by suppression and violence.
Mr Museveni, the 71-year-old son of a cattle herder, won 60 per cent of the 9.7 million votes cast in the election, defeating his closest rival Kizza Besigye, who took 35 per cent, according to the Electoral Commission.
Election observers, who include the Commonwealth Observer Mission and the European Observer Mission, say the ballot fell short of key democratic benchmarks after the shutdown of social media sites Facebook and Twitter and the arrest of the Mr Besigye.
The EU Election Observer Mission said in a statement that the ruling National Resistance Movement’s (NRM’s) domination of the political landscape distorted the fairness of the campaign and state actors were instrumental in creating “an intimidating atmosphere for both voters and candidates”.
The Uganda Communication Commission blocked access to social media on election day which unreasonably constrained freedom of expression and access to information, it said.
President Yoweri Museveni waves to supporters from the sunroof of his vehicle as he arrives for an election rally at Kololo AirstripPresident Yoweri Museveni has secured his fifth term in office  Photo: Ben Curtis/AP
“Intimidation and harassment of opposition by police and law enforcement bodies, as well as arrests of supporters and voters were reported from more than 20 districts," the EU said.
"Opposition candidates’ ability to campaign freely was restricted on several instances during the campaign period.”

Rioting broke out across the capital, Kampala, when news broke that the police had arrested Mr Besigye, President Musveni’s personal doctor when they were guerrilla fighters, in his office for running an illegal parallel vote counting center.
Mr Museveni, who is from the Banyankole ethnic group, helped Tanzania and other rebels oust the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 1979.
In 1981 he played a key role in the rebellion that ousted Milton Obote.
He came to came to power in 1986 after defeating the military junta of Tito Okello.
Dejected opposition supporters who work as motorbike taxi drivers hold their heads in their hands shortly after the election result was announcedDejected opposition supporters who work as motorbike taxi drivers hold their heads in their hands shortly after the election result was announced  Photo: Ben Curtis/AP
His government brought stability and economic growth to Uganda, with donors eager to plough money into the country after decades of conflict.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s Uganda was hit by a massive Aids pandemic. Museveni was praised for overseeing a comprehensive Aids programme, giving hundreds thousands access to prevention, treatment and care services.
In recent years. however, Museveni has become increasingly authoritarian, with his opponents accusing him of favouring his Banyankole tribesmen for important positions.
His presidency has also been marred by involvement in civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other Great Lakes region conflicts.
A Ugandan soldier rests on top of an armoured vehicle in Kampala, Uganda A Ugandan soldier rests on top of an armoured vehicle on the day the vote was announced  Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
Ugandan forces were accused of looting minerals from the DRC.
Donors have also cut funding over Museveni's banning of homsexuality.
In 2005 Museveni signed signed a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.
"Carnal knowledge against the order of nature" between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment in Uganda.