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Mukono North Preliminary Results: Nambooze in the Lead :: Uganda Radionetwork

Mukono North Preliminary Results: Nambooze in the Lead

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Betty Nambooze Bakireke is leading the polls in preliminary results from Tuesday's Mukono North parliamentary by-elections.

By 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nambooze, the candidate for the Democratic Party (DP), had 13,603 votes from three sub-counties – Mukono Town Council, Goma and Nama. Her rival, the incumbent MP Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, had 11,139 votes.

The votes in Mukono Town Council, Goma and Nama account for three-quarters of the 149 polling stations in Mukono North Constituency. Nambooze led in Mukono Town Council and Goma, while Bakaluba Mukasa managed to win by a margin of more than 1,400 votes in Nama.

The by- election in Mukono North was organized after the High Court found substantial evidence from the 2006 polls of rigging and significant voting anomalies.

The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Badru Kiggundu, was in Mukono North to oversee the by-election. His presence in the constituency was seen as an indicator of the importance the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) placed in the election.

Hundreds of police were deployed throughout the constituency all day to ensure that no violence broke out during the elections. This served to keep the peace, but may have also contributed to the low voter turn out throughout Mukono North.

Paul Mutebi, a voter from Seeta II Zone in Mukono, believes that a win for Betty Nambooze would be a serious challenge to NRM dominance of politics in central Uganda. He says Nambooze consistently offered an opposition voice to oppressive government policies, particularly in demanding for the urgent reopening of the pro-Buganda Kingdom radio station, CBS FM.

CBS FM was closed in September last year following violent riots in support of the Kabaka of Buganda. Nambooze was arrested for allegedly inciting mobs of young men to riot. The case went to court and has not yet been resolved.

Several key members of the opposition alliance, the Inter-Party Coalition, pitched camp in Mukono North throughout Tuesday. Although DP is not a member of the Inter-Party Coalition, the opposition parties threw their weight behind Nambooze to secure a lead against the NRM ahead of next year's general elections.

Patrick Amuriat, the Kumi County MP, was one of the many coalition members observing the election. He said a win for Nambooze would be a sign that the coalition is gaining strength and can offer credible competition in a race against the NRM.

Betty Nambooze's supporters began celebrations as early as 8 p.m. on Tuesday, hours before the final results were announced. The police kept a keen watch on the situation to ensure all was under control.

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