Uganda police announced on Saturday that opposition leader Kizza Besigye [BBC report] will be charged with treason after he was arrested Wednesday for declaring himself the president of the country despite losing the election to President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile]. Besigye was sworn in as president in a public ceremony where he accused Museveni of trying to overthrow the Constitution. Besigye was subject to a court order [Daily Monitor report] banning him from holding opposition events, which the police claim he violated. The leader of Besigye’s party claimed [Daily Monitor report] that he was removed and transported by plane to another province without being able to retain or contact legal representation. UN experts expressed concern [JURIST report] in late February over the tense situation in Uganda since the presidential election. Besigye has run against Museveni, the five-term president, in at least four elections resulting [Aljazeera report] in multiple arrests and claims of brutality.
Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, belongs to the ruling National Resistance Movement [party website] party. The Supreme Court of Uganda in April rejected [JURIST report] a legal challenge to the presidential election held in February which resulted in President Yoweri Museveni being re-elected to a fifth term in office. During his swearing in ceremony, officials from North America and Europe walked out of the function [BBC report] when Museveni critiqued the International Criminal Court and withdrew his support for the organization.