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Gogonyo County By-Election: NRM Accuses Rival Camp of Confusing Voters

Rosemary Sseninde, the NRM National mobiliser, says despite his alleged withdrawal from the race, Okoboi continued to mobilize voters throughout the election eve and polling day. She also argues that if Okoboi was serious about his alleged withdrawal from the race, he shouldn't have deployed polling agents at polling stations.
The NRM Derck Orone while going to vote

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National Resistance Movement-NRM party officials are struggling to contain pressure in the ongoing Gogonyo County Parliamentary by-election in Pallisa district. 

The ruling party officials claim that although the National Unity Platform-NUP candidate Joseph Okoboi Opolot and his independent rival, Isa Taligoola Bantalib announced their withdrawal from the race, they have continued to mobilise voters, which might affect the NRM candidate, David Orone. 

Over the weekend, Okoboi announced his withdrawal from the Gogonyo County Parliamentary by-election after a meeting with Emorimor Sande Emolot. He, however, didn't communicate to the Electoral Commission officially through his party, which sponsored his candidature as required by the law. Taligoola on the other hand officially communicated to the Commission his withdrawal from the race. 

This meant that Orone had remained alone in the polls. However, the Electoral Commission insisted that it would go ahead with the planned polls given the fact that they had not recieved official communication from Okoboi. Okoboi decision has triggered discomfort among the party officials who accuse him of not being forward.

Rosemary Sseninde, the NRM National mobiliser, says despite his alleged withdrawal from the race, Okoboi continued to mobilize voters throughout the election eve and polling day. She also argues that if Okoboi was serious about his alleged withdrawal from the race, he shouldn't have deployed polling agents at polling stations.

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Dr. Tanga Odoi, the NRM Electoral Commission Chairperson also expressed bitterness toward Isa Taligoola Bantalib who formally withdrew from the race, saying that his withdrawal at the last minute created confusion. He said that Taligoola's last-minute withdrawal from the race messed up the NRM camp.

Odoi noted that whereas Taligoola indicated that he had withdrawn from the race, his team continued campaigning for the NUP candidate. He argued that Okoboi never withdrew, which is why he deployed agents at polling stations. 

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Derick Orone, the NRM candidate noted that he was unhappy with Taligoola’s move to withdraw from the race when his name had already been printed on the ballot papers. He blames the low voter turnout on the prevailing confusion noting that many people have relented thinking that there is no election. 

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But Okoboi, who voted from Apopong PRM Church polling station, said that his efforts to secure a withdrawal notice from the NUP Secretary General, which sponsored his candidature didn't yield results yet he had genuinely wanted to step down from the race. 

According to Okoboi, after failing to get the notice, he had no option but to continue with the race, which is his democratic right. Asked what would happen if voters decided to elect him as their MP, Okoboi said that he would welcome the golden chance to serve them.

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Taligoola on his side insisted that he had withdrawn from the race and whoever is accusing him of mobilizing for NUP.  “Those are idiots, how do I mobilize for NUP, am I a member of that party, that doesn’t have its leadership to mobilize for their candidate,? he asked.

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