Uganda's Museveni picks up papers for re-election push

Credit: REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA, July 21 (Reuters) - Uganda's long-serving President Yoweri Museveni has collected papers to seek nomination as the ruling party's candidate in next year's presidential election, the party said on Tuesday.

Securing a new term would potentially extend the 75-year-old Museveni's rule of the east African nation to four decades.

"Yes, we can confirm he has picked nomination forms for our flagbearer position," Rogers Mulindwa, spokesman for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), told Reuters, adding that no-one else had yet shown up to contest him within the party.

Though no date has yet been fixed for the 2021 vote, it is typically held in February. The strongest opposition presidential aspirant is pop star and lawmaker Bobi Wine, 38, whose music endears him to the young.

Critics complain Museveni has been using anti-coronavirus measures like bans on public gatherings to secure an advantage and stymie preparations by opponents.

Uganda has been relatively sheltered from the pandemic so far, with just 1,065 cases reported and no deaths.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

((andrew.cawthorne@thomsonreuters.com;))

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