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Uganda Elections: Museveni spends $7.8 m, 12 times more than all rivals

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni spent almost 12 times more than his two closest opponents combined on his presidential campaign over the past two months, according to a report by Newsweek.

Voter and their suitors have less than a month to go to the polls in presidential and parliamentary elections, on February 18. Museveni and his National Resistance Movement have been in power for 30 years and have been accused of intimidating opposition activists in the run-up to the election.

Newsweek is quoting a report, published on Thursday, that records minimum expenditure by parties and candidates during the election campaign produced by the Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM), a Ugandan civil society coalition that includes anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International’s Uganda branch.

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Across 16 Ugandan districts in November and December, Museveni spent in excess of 27 billion Ugandan shillings ($7.8 million). Amama Mbabazi, Museveni’s former prime minister and now an independent candidate running under the banner of Go Forward, spent 1.3 billion Ugandan shillings ($375,000), while veteran opposition candidate Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spent 977 million Ugandan shillings ($282,000) according to Newsweek

Museveni’s NRM was also way out in front in terms of total party expenditure. The report stated that the NRM spent 121 billion Ugandan shillings ($35 million) on the campaign trail between November and December—equivalent to 87.9 percent of campaign expenditure by all parties. Besigye’s FDC spent three billion Ugandan shillings ($865,000), while Mbabazi’s Go Forward spent 1.5 billion Ugandan shillings ($432,000), the story further says.

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