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President vs. Pop Star

President vs. Pop Star

President Yoweri Museveni, now 73, has ruled Uganda for 32 years. Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine and by his fans as “the Ghetto President,” used fame as a pop star to win a seat in parliament in 2017. His campaign slogan: “Since Parliament has failed to come to the ghetto, then we shall bring the ghetto to Parliament.”


Wine hasn’t stopped making music, and he continues to use an up-tempo beatto criticize Museveni, a man unaccustomed to public criticism. Museveni has twice amended Uganda’s constitution in order to remain in power.

Why might Museveni consider Bobi Wine a special threat?

There’s a generational element to the antipathy between these two men. Some 70 percent of Ugandans were not yet born when Museveni came to power in 1986. Bobi Wine was just four years old. If Museveni finds Wine unusually threatening, it’s because he’s a charismatic, widely popular representative of youth in a country where three in four citizens are under the age of 30. It’s a country with one of the world’s widest gaps between average age and the age of the president. In Uganda, over 60 percent of young people are unemployed.

The government is not taking this threat lightly. First it banned some of Wine’s protest songs. Then on August 20, Wine was arrested and will face treason charges in a military court. He’s accused of threatening a motorcade carrying Museveni. Violent protests followed, and Wine claims he was tortured in custody. The case began to gain international attention, and Ugandan authorities agreed to allow Wine to leave the country. Other, less famous opposition figures have not been allowed to leave.

Last weekend, Wine arrived in the United States for medical treatment. Museveni, once considered a freedom fighter who helped bring down Idi Amin, calls the torture allegations “fake news.” It’s not at all clear who will ultimately win this fight.

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Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

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But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

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On Wednesday, November 4 at 11a EST, we're gathering a panel to discuss "What Just Happened" with the US election. GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, Tony Maciulis and Alex Kliment will be joined by The Washington Post's Karen Attiah and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber. Watch live at: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive.

Decision 2020: What Just Happened? Wednesday, November 4, 11a EST/8a PST

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Bookmark this link to watch live: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive

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So, we're about five days out from the election right now.

And the story of this week has been the remarkably steady polling lead for Joe Biden that he's had for months now. The other big story is the turnout, massive amounts of turnout. 100% of the 2016 vote already cast in Texas. 60% nationwide votes already cast. We are headed for record shattering turnout, could be around 155 million Americans voting.

On election night, what are we watching for?

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