Uganda Court Grants Bail to Presidential Candidate Amid Protests

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A Ugandan court granted bail to presidential candidate Bobi Wine, after his arrest on Wednesday triggered protests that led to the deaths of at least 28 people.

Charges against Wine, a pop star-turned politician whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, relate to accusations that he held rallies in disregard of guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Joel Ssenyonyi, Kyagulanyi’s spokesman, confirmed he was released on bail on his Twitter account.

Kyagulanyi was arrested on Nov. 18 while on a campaign trail in eastern Uganda. He is challenging President Yoweri Museveni in the Jan. 14 election, in a contest in which the incumbent is trying extend his more than three-decade rule.

Tension had been building in Uganda over the conduct of political campaigns, since the electoral commission said earlier this month that the number of people at political meetings shouldn’t exceed 200. Critics said the guidelines favor President Museveni, partly because he dominates prime time on radio and television.

Kyagulanyi’s arrest was followed by protests in the capital, Kampala, and other cities including Jinja and Masaka. More than 570 people have been arrested for their suspected roles in the demonstrations, in which tires were burned and roads blocked, according to the police.

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