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PWDs Elections In Luwero TC Flops Over Dead Candidate On Ballot Paper

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Ssebakijje turned up for elections but upon getting a ballot paper from the Presiding Officer, Amina Nakyazze he noticed that his name was missing and the deceased was the one on the ballot. He tasked Nakyazze to explain why his name was missing yet he was duly nominated to replace the deceased candidate.
Nathan Nabaasa the Returning officer addressing the PWDs at Luwero Town Council

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The Electoral Commission has suspended elections for Persons with Disabilities-PWDs in Luwero town council because of failure to replace a deceased candidate on the ballot paper. On Monday morning, PWDs, Youths and Elderly Persons from parish committees turned up at their Sub County and town council headquarters to elect councilors respectively.

At Luwero town council about 28 out of 30 the registered PWDs turned up to elect their councillor but the elections couldn’t proceed when they found a name of the deceased candidate on the ballot paper. In October, Electoral Commission nominated four candidates including Issa Ssekamwa, the National Unity Platform candidate, Khalid Kasule-NRM, Augustine Kirunda Mukoza and Abdul Kasoma, both independent to contest for PWD councillors in Luwero town council.

However, the NRM candidate Khalid Kasule died in December last year.  As a result, the party submitted a petition asking the Commission to replace him with, Moses Ssebakijje. Ssebakijje turned up for elections but upon getting a ballot paper from the Presiding Officer, Amina Nakyazze he noticed that his name was missing and the deceased was the one on the ballot. He tasked Nakyazze to explain why his name was missing yet he was duly nominated to replace the deceased candidate.

// Cue in: “Kati nze…

Cue out;…akyaganye”//

Nakyazze asked the voters to proceed with the exercise on grounds that the deceased’s name will be cancelled and all the votes on the NRM symbol will be given to Ssebakijje. But Issa Sekamwa, the NUP candidate challenged the decision, saying the nomination of Ssebakijje was not communicated early enough, saying it was unlawful to vote in the deceased's name.

Bernard Ssemakula, the Luwero PWD Committee Chairperson pleaded with candidates to go on with the polling exercise, saying that it would be costly to conduct residual elections.

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However, the two independent candidates, Augustine Kirunda Mukoza and Abdul Kasoma protested against the extension, saying it was unfair since it means that they will need more resources to campaign again. Nakyazze resolved to halt the exercise and called the District Returning Officer, Nathan Nabaasa for advice on the matter.

Nabaasa rushed to the polling station and apologized for the error but ordered that polling exercise is suspended till it's corrected. He explained that the elections will be held among the residue elections after new ballot papers are printed with the name of the new candidate.  

//Cue in: “Ddala sikirungi…  

Cue out;…residual elections,”//

Nabaasa also told URN that the elections for Youths councilors at Nyimbwa Sub County were also suspended following none delivery of ballot papers for the three candidates. Denis Sekabira, the NUP Coordinator for Luwero district, said the irregularities in the Special Interest Groups-SIGs elections were an eye-opener and sign that the General Elections may not also be free and fair.

The country is expected to go to the polls on Thursday this week to elect Members of Parliament and President.

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