Uganda's long-serving president has declared his bid for re-election in 2016, saying he is backed by the historical leaders of the former rebel movement that has been in power since 1986.

President Yoweri Museveni said Friday that his goal now is to steer Uganda toward middle-income status.

But even as Museveni was launching his re-election bid, his former prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, said the ruling party was undemocratic and that its top leaders were actively trying to block his own presidential bid.

Mbabazi, who was fired as prime minister last year amid reports he harbored presidential ambitions, told reporters he would no longer seek the presidency as a member of the ruling party.

Mbabazi denounced the "lawless forces at work" as Museveni tries to maintain a firm grip on power.