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Uganda's flag
Fears of violence have been running high since 15 million Ugandans voted in presidential and parliamentary elections on 18 FebruaryREUTERS/James Akena
  • President Yoweri Museveni's main challenger, Dr Kizza Besigye, was arrested
  • Besigye was held at a police station outside of Kampala
  • Top opposition figures' arrest sparked clashes across the capital
  • Police and army were deployed and police used tear gas and bullets to prevent rioters
  • Final results are expected by Saturday
17:50

Polls have now closed in Uganda's second day of presidential and parliamentary elections.

Tensions are running high in Kampala as voters gathered outside tally centres and opposition party headquarters as they awaited for results.

There were reports of violence breaking out in the capital. Police and army were deployed, and witnesses reported tear gas and bullets were used to disperse crowds. Civilians were arrested.

Meanwhile, main opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye and other top opposition party figures were detained. This is the second time authorities arrest Besigye in less than 24h. He was expected to spend overnight in his cell.

President Yoweri Museveni's decision to block some social media sites 'for security reasons' on election day also came under a lot of criticism, with US Secretary of State John Kerry urging Museveni "to end this blockage immediately".

A Bishop, meanwhile, claimed the poll results released by the Electoral Commission, which put Museveni in the lead with over 60% of votes, "do not represent the will of the people of Uganda".

17:32
Secretary John Kerry and Yoweri Museveni
REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

US Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken to Uganda's incumbent President Yoweri Museveni to "underscore that Uganda's progress depends on adherence to democratic principles in the ongoing election process".

In a phone conversation, the Secretary also expressed concerns about the detentions of opposition candidate leader Kizza Besigye and the "harassment" of opposition party members during voting and tallying, according to a statement issued by the US Department of State.

Kerry "urged President Museveni to rein in the police and security forces", noting that such action calls into question Uganda's commitment to a transparent and credible election process free from intimidation.

The Secretary also expressed concern about the authorities's decision to block several social media and mobile money sites, and he urged Museveni "to end this blockage immediately".

Regarding the delays in the opening of many polling stations, Kerry said was "encouraged" that the Electoral Commission was taking steps to extend polling for certain areas.

Finally, Kerry reiterated the fact that the US "stands by the Ugandan people as they undertake this most essential democratic endeavour".

16:58
Church in Uganda
SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images

A Bishop has claimed the results of Uganda's presidential elections currently been released by the Electoral Commission "do not represent the will of the people of Uganda".

In a statement, Bishop David Zac Niringiye who belongs to the Church of Uganda alleged "the election has been badly rigged by Museveni".

His statement if full below:

The results of the presidential elections currently being released in Uganda by the Electoral Commission do not represent the will of the people of Uganda: the election has been badly rigged by Museveni.

Evidence of stuffed ballot boxes is rampant; the state closed down social media to curtail information on the rigging; delay in opening up polling stations denied millions of voters access to ballot boxes; and security forces are ready to crash any protest to the abuse of the Democratic process.

Ugandans are resolved to resist the illegal and illegitimate stay in office by Museveni and the NRM regime. We call upon all democratic forces the world over to stand in solidarity with us and to resist any temptation to lend credibility to this shameful abuse of human rights by the Museveni government. Let the international observers take note that it is the truth that Ugandans expect from them not artificial and hypocritical cleansing of this gross abuse of the Democratic process.

We call upon all people of faith to pray for Uganda at this difficult time.

16:47

Earlier today, police spokeswoman Polly Namaye gave a press conference in which she commented on the arrest of opposition leader Kizza Besigye and General Mugisha Muntu, FDC party president.

Museveni's main challenger in the country's election was taken by police during a raid on the opposition party's headquarters on Friday (19 February).

Namaye said Besigye and Muntu "were not arrested today", rather, she said their "mobility was inconvenienced".

Speaking of reports that police had surrounded and sealed off the house of Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister and founder of Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, Namaye said "all candidates have security".

"He is free to leave his home," she added.

Police raid on FDC headquarters in Kampala
A policeman beat a supporter of opposition leader Kizza Besigye in KampalaREUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Earlier on Friday riot police sealed off FDC's tally centre - located within the party's Najjanankumbi headquarters, after requesting that the party cancel a planned press conference.

Party officials confirmed men inside the compound refused, prompting riot police to throw teargas canisters at the party supporters who had congregated at the gates to the headquarters.

Police raid on FDC headquarters in Kampala
Supporters of opposition leader Kizza Besigye try to stop police from entering his office in Kampala, Uganda February 19, 2016.REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Police then sealed off Entebbe Road where the FDC's head office is located, after witnesses saw riot police engaging FDC supporters in running battles on the road.

The US embassy has strongly condemned "disproportionate" police action on the FDC party headquarters.

US Embassy in Kampala Tweet
Twitter / US MIssion Uganda

16:12

Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Badru Kiggundu is currently holding a press conference where he is giving reporters an update on the fifth round of preliminary results.

While Kiggundu confirmed "voting has been carried out in every polling stations", he said he "had been informed that there are some media houses broadcasting different results".

The EC insisted media "is only allowed to publish EC official provisional results".

Here's the latest breakdown of ballots:

Museveni-62.82%

Besigye-32.66%

Amama-1.75%

Abed-0.98%

Barya-0.68%

Kyalya-0.5%

Biraaro-0.31%

Mabirizi-0.3%

Source: Electoral Commission Uganda (results correct as at 16:12 GMT)

16:07

Local media are reporting tensions are running high in Rukungiri district as dozens of voters have gathered outside the gates of the tally centre as they await for results.

Elections results in Rukungiri, Uganda
Twitter / NTV Uganda

Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Badru Kiggundu is currently holding a press conference in which he is updating reporters on the fifth round of provisional results.

15:59

The United States' Embassy in Kampala has urged US citizens, Ugandans and anyone present in Uganda to join the #IPledgePeaceUg campaign.

Here is the official video of the campaign, launched by the Young African Leaders Initiative Uganda (YALIUganda).

15:54

The wife of opposition leader Kizza Besigye has said that, at 18:30 local time (15:30 GMT), her husband was still held in a Nagalama police cell with General Mugisha Muntu, FDC party president.

"His guard has brought them a mat to sleep on," wife Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, said on Twitter, before adding she was "worried about their safety".

"It seems (the) plan is to release Besigye et al late at night. No info. I'm just guessing," Byanyima said.

15:45

Supporters of opposition leader Kizza Besigye set up burning barricades in Kampala. Ugandan police shot in the air and fired tear gas at opposition protesters in several parts of southern Kampala, Reuters confirmed.

Clashes in Kampala, Uganda
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Clashes in Kampala, Uganda
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Clashes in Kampala, Uganda
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Clashes in Kampala, Uganda
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

15:38
Uganda vote
Isaac Kasamani/ AFP

We have received further information regarding protests in Kasese district, to which police responded by throwing tear gas.

Police fired tear gas and live ammunition at FDC supporters who were protesting against what they alleged to be counting irregularities. Some individuals had brought two boxes of ballot papers which the local Woman MP, Winnie Kizza, said could not be accepted by the tally centre because they were delivered unaccompanied by police and their authenticity could not be verified.

FDC supporters, who believe their party was sweeping the district, also rejected the ballot papers, while Kizza accused the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) of disrupting the counting process.

15:26

Main opposition party FDC has questioned whether the veracity of results announced throughout Friday (19 February) by Electoral Commission (EC) chairman, Dr Badru Kiggundu.

"The issue hasn't been whether we can win this election. The issue is if Kiggundu can do his work as stipulated by the law," an FDC official said.

Many on Twitter have also expressed doubts about

Samuel Makokha W'Mugeni, an envoy to the Scandinavia Forum for Democratic Change, claimed "rigging in Rukungiri is currently under way. Results changed in the night."

Makokha, who was at FDC's tally center at the party's headquarters when it was raided by police earlier on Friday, added: "Our tally had us (FDC) leading the count".

15:10

There has been growing frustration in Uganda and abroad following the Ugandan Electoral Commission's announcement of general results, amid claims of vote-rigging

Many have criticised the lack of transparency of the breakdown of votes, and opposition parties have been publishing results which largely differ from the EC's own results.

Early in the afternoon, opposition party FDC's provisional results put the party's leader Kizza Besigye winner with 56.9% of votes, followed closely by incubent President Yoweri Museveni (40.1%). FDC's Tally Centre's results can be found here.

These figures were in stark contrast with the EC's, which put Museveni ahead of the ballot with 62.82 % of votes against 32.72% for Besigye. EC's provisional results can be found here.

Uganda's Electoral Commission preliminary results
Daily Monitor

These results were correct at the time of publication at 15:09 GMT.

14:58

In an announcement on Facebook, the US embassy in Uganda's capital, Kampala, has told US citizens to "stay off the streets for the remainder of the day".

US Embassy in Kampala Warning
US Embassy in Kampala's Warning

In a Tweet, the Embassy also requested the police and army 'exercise restraint", before writing: "The Ugandan people have exhibited patience despite their frustrations during the voting period."

14:42

The protests were prompted by main challenger Kizza Besigye's arrest.

According to the leaders' wife, Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, Besigye "believes his arrest was to stop (opposition party) FDC holding a press conference, which they were discussing".

While police earlier claimed the politician had been driven home, his wife claimed he was "held at Nagalama police station, outside Kampala."

14:27

The army is now deployed in Kiseka Market, as riots have engulfed certain parts of Kampala.

A joint force of police and the UPDF (Uganda People's Defence Force, the armed forces) has been deployed in parts of Kampala to prevent rioters.

According to local media, at least one person has been wounded as protesters setup fire in Katwe and Najjanankumbi,while police and military have taken over Bwaise.

Local media have broadcast images of police making use of tea gas in Kasese.

There have been reports of tyres burned and road blocks near Katwe and the FDC party office.

14:17

Violence has erupted in Uganda's capital Kampala following the arrest of Dr Kizza Besigye, incumbent President Yoweri Museveni's main challenger in the election and claims that Electoral Commission (EC) chairman, Dr Badru Kiggundu, 'praised' the arrest.

Fears of violence have been running high since 15 million Ugandans voted in presidential and parliamentary elections on 18 February, in which Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for 30 years, is seeking a fifth term in office. Museveni, who is the National Resistance Movement's (NRW) flag bearer, told voters at his polling station in Kaaro in Rushwere that his NRM party "will obviously win".