Uganda's long-serving president fires prime minister, a former ally turned rival for power


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KAMPALA, Uganda — President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda fired his prime minister, a former ally who is widely expected to seek the presidency in elections in 2016.

Ofwono Opondo, a spokesman for Uganda's government, said on Friday that Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was the only Cabinet member affected by a reshuffle announced late Thursday. He was replaced by Health Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.

The decision to remove Mbabazi was the culmination of an apparent power struggle between Museveni and Mbabazi. The president's close allies earlier this year passed a resolution designating Museveni as the ruling party's sole candidate. Mbabazi is one of the most senior members of the ruling party.

Analysts say Museveni's move is intended to clip Mbabazi's wings but could embolden him to seek the presidency, potentially posing the biggest challenge yet to Museveni's long tenure as president of this East African country.

Some members of the ruling party are openly urging Museveni to retire after spending nearly three decades in power, although some loyalists insist Museveni remains popular across the country and want him to keep power.

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