Unofficial results show presidential race in Uganda

Unofficial results released by newspapers and radio stations Friday showed a tight race between incumbent President Yoweri Museveni and his leading challenger, Kizza Besigye, in Uganda's first multiparty election.

The media outlets were collecting official results posted outside nearly 20,000 individual polling stations around the country and were conducting their own tally, which could not be independently confirmed.

While each outlet was reporting different results from different stations, all of them indicated a close race. The distribution of the results was not immediately clear. Museveni traditionally does better in rural areas, which are usually the last to report their results.

The Electoral Commission was expected to release preliminary official results Friday afternoon and final official results Saturday afternoon.

An average of 10 people per polling station were turned away because their names were not on the voter register, said a coordinator for the independent Ugandan observer organization, Democracy Monitoring Group.

"The main problem was so many people missing from the voter register," Perry Aritua said. "Even though they had certificates and even photo identification cards" from the Electoral Commission.

Ugandans showed up in large numbers Thursday to vote in the country's first multiparty elections in more than 25 years, a vote widely seen as a referendum on President Yoweri Museveni's 20-year rule.

Voters were also choosing 284 members of parliament.

Sudden downpours soaked open-air polling stations across the country but did little to dampen turnout in this East African nation, where critics say Museveni's government has become increasingly authoritarian, reports the AP.

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