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Police Rescue Gulu Polling Officials Amidst Chaos

Supporters of Independent candidate Michael Latigo, who emerged second with 143 votes, rejected the results saying it had been rigged in favour of Acellam. This prompted Police commanded by Cadet ASP Sunday Nicholas, the officer in charge of Layibi Police Post, to whisk the polling officials away onto a waiting police pick up registration number UP 4626 carrying heavily armed personnel in military and police uniforms.
Voting Underway in Layibi Go Down in Layibi Division in Gulu Municipality

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Security personnel in Gulu Municipality have been on their toes battling sudden spates of electoral tensions in major hot-spots around the region's major business destination.

Chaos erupted in four major villages within the municipality as vote counting and tallying commenced. At Layibi Go Down village, its polling station - Gulu Railway Polling Station degenerated into chaos after Brian Opiyo Oketch, the presiding officer declared incumbent National Resistance Movement (NRM) party candidate Denis Acellam winner.

Supporters of Independent candidate Michael Latigo, who emerged second with 143 votes, rejected the results saying it had been rigged in favour of Acellam. This prompted Police commanded by Cadet ASP Sunday Nicholas, the officer in charge of Layibi Police Post, to whisk the polling officials away onto a waiting police pick up registration number UP 4626 carrying heavily armed personnel in military and police uniforms.

The vehicle then sped off with the officials to prevent them being lynched by angry residents before the disagreements had been resolved or declaration forms signed by candidates.

The other two candidates Cosmas Okello (Independent) and Patrick Okot of the Democratic Party polled 20 and four votes respectively. Earlier, tension broke out during line formation as voters formed winding lines behind their favourite candidates. Supporters of Latigo accused those of Acellam of smuggling voters from other stations to vote at the station.

Latigo refused to concede defeat demanding a recount and audit of the register.

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They demanded an audit of the register against the number of those who voted before the candidates are subjected to a repeat election. They vowed to petition the Electoral Commission for the results to be nullified.

At Pabbo Quarters, in Kirombe Parish, Layibi Division, police battled a group of drunk youth who were threatening to disrupt polling citing malpractices and disenfranchisement of voters.

Lwaktek Peter Charles, the Parish presiding Officer told URN that the rowdy youth never registered to participate in the elections. He said they wanted to vote without appearing in the register.

At Gulu Public Primary School, Kaunda ground polling Station in Bar Dege Division, similar chaos disrupted the process for several minutes as unregistered youth pushed their way to vote. Major Santos Okot Lapolo, Gulu resident district commissioner, calmed the tension after several minutes.

At School Road polling station in Pece Division, Police were called in to calm tension which had broken out between rival supporters.

Cadet ASP Sunday Nicholas, the Police officer in charge of Layibi Division said Police deployed where rowdy youth wanted to disrupt the process.

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Outside Gulu Municipality, low voter turn-up dominated the process as villagers stayed home. 

In neighbouring Omoro district, Denis Ebong the district returning officer said the process went on normally without major incidents in the 177 villages in the district.

Ugandans went to the polls to elect village local council officials for the first time in two decades.

Ends