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Friday, 9 March, 2001, 05:06 GMT
Boycott fears hit Ugandan election
President Museveni at a campaign rally
President Museveni is campaigning hard
Five opposition presidential candidates in Uganda meet the electoral commission on Friday amid rumours they will call a boycott if their concerns are not immediately addressed.

The five believe that the incumbent, Yoweri Museveni, is using a biased state security apparatus to intimidate their voter base ahead of the poll which takes place on Monday.


It would be futile to participate in an exercise which is flawed

Aggrey Awori
Top of the list of grievances is the recent appointment of Army Commander Major General Jeje Odongo as head of Uganda's internal security during the election period.

The government has justified this appointment by claiming that Mr Museveni's opponents are planning violence in the event that they lose the election.

Army role

Opposition candidates point out that General Odongo is a keen Museveni supporter.

Main challenger Kizza Besigye alleges intimidation
Main challenger Kizza Besigye: Unhappy at army role
They are also unhappy that the head of Military Intelligence, Lieutenant Colonel Noble Mayombo, has been put in charge of Kampala for the poll.

He was involved in the improper arrest and alleged torture of a campaign official for Mr Museveni's principle contender, Dr Kizza Besigye.

Another of the five, Aggrey Awori, is saying he will pull out of the election unless something is done.

Mr Awori told the BBC: "It would be futile to participate in an exercise which is flawed."

A representative of the Besigye task force, however, was more circumspect.

If electoral officials did not adequately address their grievances - the Besigye team would consider what to do next.

But the representative said the issue of pulling out was not yet on the cards.

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See also:

23 Feb 01 | Africa
Ugandan opposition 'intimidated'
06 Mar 01 | Africa
Suspicion at Ugandan army role
09 Mar 01 | Africa
Museveni's election test
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