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Elections: Uganda declares February 18 a holiday

11 February 2016, 19:24

Kampala – The Ugandan government has declared February 18 a public holiday to allow registered voters to participate in the upcoming presidential elections.

According to Daily Monitor, the call was confirmed by permanent secretary public service ministry Catherine Bitarakwate who issued a statement.

"First Deputy Prime Minister and minister of Public Service informs the general public that Thursday 18th February, 2016 will be a public holiday to allow Ugandans participate in the National voting activities being organiseded by the Independent Electoral Commission," read part of the statement.

At least eight candidates, including the incumbent Yoweri Museveni of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), are vying for the presidency.

Museveni has been in power for over three decades.

Three time loser, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Kizza Besigye, and the former NRM prime minister, now the leader of  the Go Forward leader, Amama Mbabazi are Museveni's main rivals.

The other candidates are; Peace and National Unity (PNU) leader Benon Biraaro, the only female candidate, Maureen Kyalya of the African Restoration Party (ARP) as well as Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, who is contesting independently.  Baryamureeba claims he is backed by "progressive Ugandans".

Museveni has indicated he would only be ready to leave power after the east African region is united.

He claimed during a recent live television broadcast that he had a duty to "protect black people and to make sure they embrace unity".

A number of opinion polls have indicated that Museveni would win the election.

- News24


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