Former president attends swearing-in ceremony of Ugandan President

Former president attends swearing-in ceremony of Ugandan President

Former president attends swearing-in ceremony of Ugandan President

Written by Tharushan Fernando

12 May, 2016 | 7:45 pm

The fifth swearing-in ceremony of Ugandan President Yoweri Museweni was held on Thursday.


Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also attended the event upon an official invitation extended by the Ugandan government. The swearing-in ceremony of Yoweri Museveni  who was declared winner of Uganda’s February 18, election with 60 percent of the vote,  held in the country’s capital Kampala.

The ceremony was attended by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as several other incumbent heads of state which included Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan,Zimbabwe, South Africa and Niger.

Museveni, a former guerrilla who seized power in 1986, amended the country’s constitution, allowing him to extend his reign to 35 years.

The opposition said the vote was rigged and protests broke out, leading to clashes with police and dozens of arrests.

Just a day before the swearing in ceremony of President Museveni, Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested after he took oath of office as an alternative government. Besigye was accompanied by his party officials and supporters as he took the oath.

Besigye, his main challenger, got 35 percent of the vote. He rejected the results and said the election was a sham, citing intimidation by security forces and impartiality of the  electoral body.

After the swearing-in, Besigye drove to downtown Kampala and waved at supporters from his car. Police then arrested him, for addressing an illegal assembly, and towed his  car away with him inside it.

NTV-Uganda showed pictures of a crowd running, stating police tried to disperse supporters with tear gas before Besigye’s arrest.

According to foreign media reports Ugandan authorities blocked social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp as President Yoweri Museveni was sworn in.

The government had also banned live television or radio coverage of protests.

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