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Opposition Fumes as 23 Ballot Boxes, Declaration Forms are Tampered With

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Jennifer Amito, a voter who stayed behind to guard the votes, says the 23 ballot boxes were reopened and stuffed with pre-ticked ballot papers from Lakwana Sub County in favor of NRM candidates.
The 23 ballot boxes in question still in a lorry at the Gulu district council hall

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Opposition candidates in Gulu district have tasked police and Electoral Commission to explain circumstances under, which 23 ballot boxes and declaration forms from Lalogi sub county were tampered with.

This comes after polling agents of different opposition candidates and concerned voters discovered that ballot boxes that were sealed after the polls, had been reopened and resealed again.

Jennifer Amito, a voter who stayed behind to guard the votes, says the 23 ballot boxes were reopened by the presiding officer and stuffed with pre-ticked ballot papers from Lakwana Sub County in favor of NRM candidates.

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The alteration of the ballots is suspected to have started at 9:00 pm. The opposition has since recovered 23 broken seals as exhibits to confirm their claims that the ballot boxes were tampered with. 

Betty Aol Ochan, the incumbent Gulu Woman member of parliament accuses top politicians and civil servants involved in partisan politics of using crime preventers to rig the polls in favor of NRM candidates. According to Ochan, both EC and Police have some explanation to make over the result alteration. 

As a result, FDC candidates stopped EC from counting the votes from Lakwana, saying the contents of the ballot boxes must be investigated. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu LC V chairperson, says their agents were denied declaration forms. 

Kelly Komakech, the Gulu District FDC mobilisation secretary, says their agents in Lalogi and Lakwana sub counties were also intimidated by police. By the time of filing this story, Benson Obeta, the Gulu District Registrar, FDC leaders and police were still negotiating on how to proceed with the ballot boxes. 

Obeta told journalists that both EC and police were working to establish the truth about the contested ballot boxes.   

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Martin Okoyo, the Gulu District Police Commander, said he would comment on the matter at an appropriate time. The contested ballot boxes were loaded onto a prison truck registration number UG0210U.

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