[JURIST] Ugandan police on Thursday arrested two presidential candidates planning on challenging current President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile]. Former Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi [official website], who had announced [BBC report] his intention to run for president last month and was arrested [New Vision report] while campaigning for a presidential bid for the National Resistance Movement [official website], the same party Museveni belongs to. Police had banned him from campaigning until the party chose a candidate. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] was also detained [New Vision report] for 24 hours. Besigye has consistently been arrested [Reuters report] for short periods of time by Ugandan police for holding anti-government demonstrations after the 2011 elections.
The arrests of Mbabazi and Besigye could lead to increased political tensions between Museveni and those who plan on challenging him. Museveni has been accused [AP report] of being an authoritarian since he took office by force in 1986, using security forces to retain power. His government has also been criticized for limiting public gatherings and not allowing [JURIST reports] for an independent judiciary.