Uganda's Museveni re-elected president amid protests

Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for 30 years, has been re-elected the country's president in an election overshadowed by arrests of politicians and allegations of rigging.

The country's election body declared Museveni, 71, the winner on Saturday afternoon with more than 60 percent of the votes cast.

Museveni, a former rebel who seized power in 1986, was widely expected to win a fifth term, which will now extend his power into a fourth decade.

His closest rival, Kizza Besigye, 59, obtained about 35 percent of the vote. Shortly before the election result was declared, the country's security forces put Besigye under house arrest.

Police carried out multiple arrests of opposition activists, including Besigye, during the vote.

House arrest

Police have arrested Besigya four times since the day of election and he is currently detained at his house in the capital Kampala.

Besigya's third arrest was caught by Al Jazeera cameras as he tried to access a housewhere ballots were suspected of being altered.

On Friday police in riot gear set off stun grenades and fired tear gas at Besigye supporters, who responded by hurling rocks and erecting street barricades.

John Kerry, US secretary of state, called Museveni to voice concern over Besigye's detention, harassment of opposition figures and the shutdown of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Police officials said they were at Besigya's home as a preventive measure to prevent a further escalation of violence and denied detaining him.

Besigye was Museveni's field doctor during the war which brought him to power, and served as deputy interior minister in his first cabinet. He broke ranks with Museveni in 1999, saying the president was no longer a democrat.

'Lacking transparency'

Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb, reporting from Kampala, said the conduct of the election had been criticised by European Union observers.

"They said the use of force against the opposition has been unacceptable and they also said the electoral commission has lacked transparency," he said.

The electoral commission rejected the criticism and said it had conducted the elections in a free and fair way.

Our correspondent said it was unclear how opposition supporters would react to the outcome of the election.

Earlier, Jonathan Taremwa, a spokesman for the electoral commission, told Al Jazeera the vote was "transparent" and "fair".

"Some people didn't get to vote. It was unfortunate, it was regrettable, and the commission offered an apology. We finally had stations [affected by delays] opened for votes and later extended the voting from 4pm to 7pm," Taremwa said.

Besigye's supporters said the delays were deliberate and were aimed at favouring Museveni.