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Bobi Wine, the pop star who would be president of Uganda

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By THE ECONOMIST
Middle East & Africa Nov 7th 2020 edition

Arrested but undaunted, a young artist challenges an ageing autocrat

Nov 7th 2020
KAMPALA

Suit torn, tie askew, eyes half-shut, Bobi Wine stood on his veranda and addressed a crowd. That morning, on November 3rd, the Ugandan pop star had handed in his nomination papers to run for president in elections in January. Moments later, police smashed the window of his car, arrested him and pepper-sprayed his face before driving him home. Bedraggled but defiant, he greeted his fans. “This is a revolutionary election,” he said. “If it’s a boxing fight, it has begun.”

Ugandan elections are only loosely about votes. Yoweri Museveni, the president, has ruled since fighting his way to power in 1986. He needs a contest to legitimise his regime, and uses the army, police and patronage to make sure he wins. The opposition hopes to unseat him by opening cracks in his regime. Mr Wine’s struggle is part election campaign, part call to revolution. “Running against Museveni”, he tells The Economist, “is like running against all the institutions of state.”

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Bobi Wine, the pop star who would be president of Uganda

S UIT TORN, tie askew, eyes half-shut, Bobi Wine stood on his veranda and addressed a crowd. That morning, on November 3rd, the Ugandan pop star had handed in his nomination papers to run for president in elections in January. Moments later, police smashed the window of his car, arrested him and pepper-sprayed his face before driving him home.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: November 08, 2020 at 08:11PM

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