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Ugandans Cast Votes in Presidential Elections After Long Wait

Ugandans tried to cast ballots on Thursday in presidential elections, despite hours delay of voting materials delivery.

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Ugandans wait in line to cast their ballots in presidential and parliamentary elections on Feb. 18, 2016 in the capital city Kampala. 

Due to tardy delivery of voting materials in some area, people formed long lines and waited for hours for the process to begin.

CARL DE SOUZA / AFP - Getty Images
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People line up to cast their votes in presidential and parliamentary elections on Feb. 18 at the Nasuti polling station in Mukono District, east of Kampala.  

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Image: Karamojong tribeswoman casts her ballot at a polling station during the presidential elections in Kaabong in Karamoja region

A Karamojong tribe woman casts her vote at a polling station in Kaabong, in Karamoja region on Feb. 18. 

Uganda's incumbent President Yoweri Museveni has been in power since 1986.

 

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A policeman stands guard by an empty ballot box at a polling station, where five hours after voting was due to start no voting papers had yet arrived, in the capital Kampala on Feb. 18.

The voting was marred by delays of voting materials in many places, and people complained of a shutdown of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Godfrey Mutabazi, the head of the Uganda Communications Commission, said the network failure was likely due to an ongoing operation to contain a security threat.

 

Ben Curtis / AP
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A sealed ballot box sits on the ground at Kyamagwa Health Center III in Jinja district, during the elections on Feb. 18.

 

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Image: Ugandans queue to cast their votes outside a polling station located at a school in Kampala, Uganda

Ugandans wait for voting at a school in Kampala on Feb. 18.

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Opposition leader Kizza Besigye casts his ballot at a polling station in his hometown Rukungiri on Feb. 18.

Besigye, 59, is running for the fourth time against Museveni. He campaigned on a promise to run a more effective government, vowing to stem official corruption.

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Image: Longtime opposition leader Kizza Besigye leaves after casting his vote in the presidential election at Rwakabengo polling station in Rukungiri a small town west of capital Kampala

Besigye, center, leaves after casting his vote at Rwakabengo polling station in Rukungiri.

The opposition leader said on Tuesday that he does not believe the election will be free and fair, and urged his supporters to defy any illegal orders by the authorities.

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Image: Uganda's incumbent President Yoweri Museveni speaks to the media soon after casting his vote at a polling station during the presidential elections in Kirihura in western Uganda

Uganda's incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, center, speaks to the media after casting his vote in Kirihura in western Uganda.

Museveni, 71, remains popular in some parts of rural Uganda, where he is seen as a father figure and is beloved by those who remember his time as a guerrilla leader fighting a dictatorship.

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People keep lining up to cast their votes on Feb. 18 at the Nasuti polling station in Mukono District, east of Kampala. 

More than 15 million people are registered to vote in Uganda, for members of parliament as well as president. Many waited under the hot sun to vote at polling stations that at mid-day were still not functioning.

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Image: A woman sells nuts to hungry Ugandan voters queuing at a polling station

A woman sells nuts to hungry voters where five hours after voting was due to start no voting papers had yet arrived, in Kampala on Feb. 18.

Ben Curtis / AP
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Image: A Ugandan policeman struggles to keep hold of a box containing voting material after a long delay

A Ugandan policeman struggles to keep hold of a box containing voting material, as excited voters surround him after waiting over seven hours without being able to vote, at a polling station in Ggaba, on the outskirts of Kampala on Feb. 18.

In Ggaba, hundreds of people waited for seven hours for voting papers to arrive and when they discovered there were only ballots for choosing MPs, with no ballots to vote for president, they overpowered the police, destroyed the ballots for MPs, and the polling station had to be abandoned.

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Electoral commission presiding officers count ballot papers in Kampala on Feb. 18. Support for the opposition is traditionally strong in the capital. 

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A woman carrying a baby on her back casts her vote at a polling station in Kampala.

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People line up to cast their vote at the Nasuti polling station in Mukono District on Feb. 18.

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Ugandans continue queue to cast their votes at sunset in Kampala on Feb. 18.

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Polls did not finish in time due to the late arrival of the voting materials in Kisugu village, Kampala. People keep waiting till after 7 in the evening to cast their votes on Feb. 18.

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An electoral agent work with a lamp as the poll continues after 7 in the evening at one polling station in Kisugu village, Kampala on Feb. 18.

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