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Uganda Vote Ousts 50 Incumbents

June 28, 2001

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) _ At least 12 ministers in President Yoweri Museveni’s government and more than 50 incumbent legislators lost their seats in this week’s parliamentary elections, according to preliminary results reported by official media Thursday.

Ministers of State Steven Kavuma and Alfred Mubanda and Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development Janat Mukwaya were all voted out Tuesday, the government-run daily New Vision reported.

``I think some of the ministers lost because they were not on the ground in their areas,″ Hope Kivengere, Museveni’s press secretary, told The Associated Press.

Only about half the results of the 214 constituencies have been declared, Electoral Commission spokesman Dick Kizito said.

``Unlike in the presidential elections, where there was a time frame on the declaration of the results, this election is open-ended,″ Kizito said. ``We have no time limit but we shall try to be fast.″

Slightly more than half the country’s 10 million registered voters turned out, Kizito said.

Most people voted freely, but the election was marred by violence and was poorly administrated, election monitors said Thursday.

The Election Monitoring Group reported 11 people were killed and scores were injured in election-related violence. Police said seven people died.

The Rev. Grace Kaiso, national coordinator of the monitoring group, said the ``increasing lack of tolerance for divergent views and healthy competition″ has led to ``increased election violence and loss of lives.″

Senior presidential adviser John Nagenda said the election went well overall, but that the government was disturbed by the violence.

``A lot of bitterness was brought into the parliamentary elections,″ he said. ``We must make sure it doesn’t happen again.″

The National Resistance Movement was expected to retain control of parliament, although all candidates were supposed to run as individuals. Museveni suspended multiparty politics when he took power in 1986.

However, during the campaign, Museveni urged people to vote for candidates from his party. The Election Monitoring Group condemned Museveni’s endorsements, saying he had ``polarized the electorate.″

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