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Uganda leader's victory challenged

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Supporters of President Yoweri Museveni celebrate in Kampala.

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KAMPALA, Uganda (CNN) -- Uganda's longtime incumbent leader Yoweri Museveni has won the country's presidential race, but the closest runner-up says he plans to challenge the results.

Official results from Uganda's electoral commission on Saturday showed that Museveni -- in power for 20 years -- garnered 59.28 percent of the vote, held on Thursday.

The runner-up was Dr. Kiiza Besigye -- a 49-year-old candidate from the Forum for Democratic Change -- with 37.36 percent of the vote.

While international observers said that, for the most part, the election appeared to have been free, fair and transparent, Besigye disagrees.

He said his party has decided to "reject the results announced by the electoral commission" and will decide on "further action once we have our results," referring to a parallel vote tally conducted by the opposition.

There were celebrations in downtown Kampala, with members of Museveni's National Resistance Movement supporters clad in yellow T-shirts chanting "Yoweri, Yoweri" clad in yellow t-shirts and waving branches.

At the Forum for Democratic Change headquarters, riot police have lined both sides of the street and supporters say that some tear gas was thrown at them by the riot police.

To minimize any chance of violence, the country's larger towns were blanketed with a security presence.

The vote was the nation's first multi-party presidential elections in 25 years.

Nearly 50,000 forces oversaw security at polling places around the country, where 10.5 million people are registered to vote.

Backed by a handful of fighters, Museveni wrested power in a 1986 coup, inheriting a country in ruins, wracked by sectarian strife and in economic freefall after former leader Idi Amin expelled its Asian business community.

Museveni set about restoring stability and reviving the country's economy. In the process, he became a darling of governments and international institutions.

U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each visited Uganda and came away praising his leadership, particularly in helping the country combat AIDS.

But his critics contend that he should step aside before his taste for power becomes an addiction.

Besigye, Museveni's one-time friend and former personal physician, accuses the incumbent of condoning corruption, and described him to CNN as "somebody who abandoned the cause."

CNN Correspondent Jeff Koinange contributed to this story.

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