Three time presidential contender and president of the Peoples Development Party (PDP) has conceded defeat in the recently concluded presidential elections held on February 18.
Mr Bwanika came fourth in a race contested for by 8 candidates and polled a total of 89,005 votes, representing 0.90% of the total number of votes cast in an election in which the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate Yoweri Museveni winner with over 60 per cent of the vote.
The other two candidates Bwanika becomes the fifth candidate to concede defeat after Maj Gen Benon Biraaro, Joseph Mabirizi, Faith Maureen Kyalya Walube and Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer Col (rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye and John Patrick Amama Mbabazi of Go Forward have since disputed the results.
“For the sake of our people and unity of our nation, I offer my concession. I have had lots of opportunities and blessing in my life and all I wanted was the same for all Ugandans. Until that day comes, you shall find me at the forefront of democracy fighting for all Ugandans,” reads part of the statement Mr Bwanika released on his website.
“Salutations to the people of Uganda for the extraordinary energy you displayed during the national Elections as evidenced by your high turnout both at the campaign rallies and the polling day, special thanks go to those gallant Ugandans who put confidence in candidate Dr.Abed Bwanika and accorded him a vote, you are foresighted and your vote is a seed into the desired future,” the statement adds.
In the same statement, Mr Bwanika criticized the Independent Electoral Commission for performing ‘below average and very poorly in some areas’.
He cited irregularities like the reported delayed delivery of electoral materials to several polling stations; omission of polling results from thousands of polling stations in the final tally; announcement of results by the electoral commission that are different from the ones at polling stations, the seizer of pre ticked ballot papers in several areas of the country and the declaration of losers as winners especially for the Members of Parliament.
Mr Bwanika suggested remedies by asking the ‘aggrieved Ugandans to seek redress from the Supreme Court, put pressure on the establishment and demand respect in regard to their rights and vote expression and seeking a Government of National Unity fostered by the elders’ council and credible religious leaders’.
This, according to Mr Bwanika, ‘will avert the impending chaos and destruction that may result out of the prevailing anger’.