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Bobi Wine withdraws petition against Museveni

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Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine said on Monday he was dropping a legal challenge to Uganda’s presidential election results that handed victory to incumbent Yoweri Museveni.

Wine said he was withdrawing the petition because Supreme Court justices hearing the case were biased.

Museveni, a former guerrilla leader who has led Uganda since 1986, was declared winner of the January 14 election with 59% of the vote, while Wine was given 35%.

Wine, 39, a pop star-cum-politician whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has rejected the results and said he believed victory was stolen from him. He asked the court to overturn the results on several grounds including widespread use of violence.

“We have decided to withdraw from their court,” Wine told a news conference in the capital Kampala. “The courts are not independent, it is clear these people (judges) are working for Mr. Museveni.”

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As proof, he cited the court’s decision to reject an application he had made to file additional evidence he said showed pre-ticking of ballots, false tallies of ballots, impossibly high voter turnout and other irregularities.

Wine also said some of the court’s judges had met Museveni several times since he filed the petition and some of the meetings had been secret. “We are convinced that the Supreme Court has a pre-determined mind,” he said.

Solomon Muyita, a judiciary spokesman says judicial authorities would only respond to Wine’s accusations and decision to withdraw the case when he had formally quit the case through his lawyers.

“Right now what he has done is, he has only made a political statement. As far as the records of the Supreme Court are (concerned) the case is still there,” he said.

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