Last Updated on January 16, 2021
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has won the Ugandan presidential election in a landslide, after taking strong action against big tech interference in the country.
Museveni, the candidate of the nationalist and socially conservative National Resistance Movement, won 59% of the vote. His main challenger, Bobby Wine, the candidate of the left-liberal National Unity Platform, won a paltry 25%.
Big tech giants Twitter and Facebook took unprecedented steps to interfere with the Ugandan presidential election, banning leading supporters of Museveni as well as government officials just days before the election. Museveni responded forcefully, temporarily banning them from operating within Uganda for the duration of the election.
Wine did best in urban centers with high levels of corruption, mirroring the suspicious surge of support for Joe Biden in cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta during last year’s U.S. presidential race. The Associated Press reports:
In a generational clash watched across the African continent with a booming young population and a host of aging leaders, the 38-year-old singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably Museveni’s greatest challenge yet. The self-described “ghetto president” had strong support in urban centers where frustration with unemployment and corruption is high. He has claimed victory.
Despite Wine’s claim, he has now called on foreign countries to interfere in domestic Ugandan politics.
“Please call Gen. Museveni to order,” he told the Associated Press, urging Western countries to put Magnitsky-style sanctions on President Museveni and other Ugandan government officials.
Wine had previously called for the International Criminal Court, which has accused the U.S. of war crimes and has been described by President Trump as an “unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy”, to prosecute Museveni.
Wine’s call for foreign intervention lends credence to allegations made on the campaign trail by Museveni that Wine was an “agent of foreign interests” and was working with the U.S. deep state to foment a color revolution in Uganda.
Museveni’s government has served as a close ally of the United States, committing large numbers of troops to counterterrorism initiatives against the al-Shabaab Islamic terrorist network in Somalia. Despite this, left-wing NGOs in the U.S., backed by elements within the deep state, have been critical of him for not embracing liberalism.
In his victory speech, Museveni declared that election integrity was alive and well in Uganda.
“I think this may turn out to be the most cheating-free election since [Ugandan independence in] 1962,” Museveni said.
Uganda’s election illustrates the importance of tougher action against big tech social media platforms that attempt to interfere in elections to promote their preferred – typically liberal – candidates.