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Wednesday,May 22,2019 23:57 PM

Opinion Polls Urban

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th March 2001 03:00 AM

COL KIZZA Besigye is appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn Yoweri Museveni's victory in Monday's presidential election.

COL KIZZA Besigye is appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn Yoweri Museveni's victory in Monday's presidential election. This is his constitutional right and he is free to proceed. However there are various issues he should first consider. Firstly the external donors and local monitors have both ratified the result of the elections. In essence they said the same thing: the elections were far from perfect yet they still represented the will of the people. There were some malpractices on both sides but these were not orchestrated by the state. Over-zealous local campaigners were responsible. It will be very difficult for Col Besigye to establish in the Supreme Court that these malpractices were sufficiently one-sided and sufficiently numerous to invalidate Museveni's sweeping victory. Secondly, virtually all the opinion polls conducted in the campaign period indicated that Museveni would win on the first round. Only the first Monitor poll showed Museveni with less than 50 per cent while their second one showed him winning with a simple majority. Even the opinion poll commissioned by Besigye himself showed that Museveni would get 57 per cent on the first round. What appears to have shocked people is the margin of Museveni's victory. However it is now clear that the opinion polls seriously under-estimated the rural vote for Museveni. For practical reasons, it proved very difficult for enumerators to enter the deep countryside and consequently the opinion polls were 'urbanised' and distorted. Two things now need to be done. The Electoral Commission must clean up the voters register as a matter of urgency so that future elections retain their credibility. And future opinion polls must make more effort to go deep in the countryside. Ends

Opinion Polls Urban

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