President Museveni was ahead of his main political rivals just before the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, an opinion poll to be released today shows.
Some 47 per cent of respondents said they would have voted for President Museveni if elections had been held in early March, a significant drop from the 60.8 per cent that the incumbent received in the 2016 elections, according to official figures from the Electoral Commission.
Another 22 per cent said they would have voted for musician-turned-politician Robert ‘Bobi Wine’ Kyagulanyi, the first-term MP for Kyadondo East. Dr Kizza Besigye, who has contested against the incumbent in the last four elections, would have come third with 17 per cent of the vote, down from 35.4 per cent in the last presidential election.
The findings are contained in the Uganda Governance Pulse, a new opinion poll conducted by Research World International, a local polling firm, on behalf of the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies, a local think-tank, and the Independent Expert Peer Group of policy and public analysts.
Fieldwork was conducted in the second week of March and ended just before the country was locked down to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. The polling firm interviewed 2,321 respondents randomly selected across the country based on the 2014 census.
Although nominations for presidential candidates are yet to happen, both leading candidates in the poll had declared their intentions by the time respondents were polled. In April 2019, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition against the lifting of presidential age limits, effectively opening the door to President Museveni, in power since 1986, to seek re-election next year.