Uganda President Yoweri Museveni is against the United Nations' recognition of Alassane Ouattara as winner of Ivory Coast's election and wants an African Union probe into the poll, his spokesman said on Tuesday.
U.N.-certified electoral commission results showed incumbent Laurent Gbagbo had lost, but the result was overturned by the pro-Gbagbo Constitutional Council after it cancelled hundreds of thousands of votes in Ouattara strongholds.
The West African regional bloc ECOWAS, the European Union, the United States have sided with Ouattara and called for Gbagbo to step down immediately, but he has refused.
Uganda differs with the U.N. and the international community on Ivory Coast, presidential spokesman Tamale Mirundi told Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, quoting Museveni.
Mirundi told Reuters all the quotes in the newspaper were correct and there was no need to add anything further.
There is need for a serious approach that involves investigating the (electoral) process, including registration of voters and who voted, Mirundi quoted Museveni as saying.
There should be investigations, not just declaring who has won. No, no, no! he was quoted in the newspaper.
MUSEVENI SEEKING FOURTH TERM
The African Union's official line is that Gbagbo should make way for Ouattara but cracks are appearing in the 53-state organisation ahead of a regular heads of state summit in Ethiopia later this week.
South African President Jacob Zuma said last week after meeting Museveni that there were discrepancies in the way the result was announced. Angola is also seen as a potential weak point in AU unity on Ivory Coast. Ghana has said it will not take sides.
Mirundi said Museveni agreed with Zuma that an alternative approach to the Ivory Coast crisis was better.
Each country has a constitution and framework within which to solve internal problems, he said. So it is not up to the U.N. or international community to recognise this or that winner; the matter must be investigated.
In power since 1986, Museveni has his own electoral challenge on February 18, when the former rebel leader will seek a fourth term at the helm of the east African nation.
He is facing a determined challenge from Kizza Besigye, standard bearer for a four-party opposition coalition, the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC). Analysts say Besigye has made steady inroads into Museveni's traditional rural support base.
It is the third face-off for the pair after Museveni won disputed polls in 2001 and 2006.
Besigye contested both results in the Supreme Court. The Court agreed there had been rigging but upheld Museveni's victory, arguing the irregularities had not been substantial enough to affect the overall result.