Facebook shuts down Ugandan accounts ahead of general elections

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A number of Ugandan government officials and ruling party members have had their Facebook accounts shut down as the internet giant accuses them of manipulating public debate ahead of key elections.

Residents in the East African nation will cast their votes on Thursday to elect a new president and parliament amid a tense and bloody electoral campaign, with incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, 76, facing a stiff challenge from the pop star-turned-politician Bobi Wine.

Judith Nabakooba, Uganda’s minister of information, told reporters she needed more time to study the situation before commenting.

Museveni’s senior press secretary Don Wanyama, who saw both his Facebook and Instagram accounts shut down, accused the company of seeking to influence the election.