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Soroti East By-Election: EC Meets Disgruntled Voters

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Paul Bukenya, the Electoral Commission spokesperson confirmed that the committee leadership is meeting the petitioners at the headquarters in Kampala today.
Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama
The Electoral Commission is meeting four disgruntled voters from Soroti East Constituency to address complaints regarding the alleged illegalities and omissions threatening the integrity of the planned by- election.

The voters including Michael Etadu Enyangu and Enoch Opio together with two others, whose names haven't been revealed petitioned the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama on July 1, 2022, through Kaganzi & Co. Advocates.

The group wants the voters’ registers for the Soroti East/ West constituencies rectified by deleting all voters belonging to the contested Opiyai and Aloet parishes, which led to the nullification of Moses Attan Okia's victory. They want the voters from the two parishes added to the register of Soroti East Constituency where they lawfully belong.  

“Consequently, owing to the fact that the voters of Opiyai and Aloet parishes were illegally and wrongfully paced and counted for the January 15, 2021- declared results of the elections of the directly elected MP for the Soroti West Constituency and now these votes must be deleted, and since the number of voters/votes to be deleted significantly affects the declared results and has a bearing on the winner of that election; that election should be canceled and a by-election ordered and held for the directed elected MP of Soroti West Division”, the petition reads in part.

They added that the by-election will ensure that the results thereafter do not include votes/ voters from Aloet and Opiyai parishes and therefore inter alia avoid the scenario where the voters from the same parishes are considered to have voted more than once- which would be an illegality/offense.

“That it is only after the election and the January 15, 2021- declared result for the election of the directly elected MP for the Soroti West constituency are canceled/ nullified, that the voters of the parishes of Aloet and Opiyai can legally be eligible, included and allowed to participate/ vote in the by- election for Soroti East constituency. Unless and until this is done, the by-election of the directly elected MP of Soroti East Division constituency ought to be stopped/ halted, as continuing with that by-election will be a direct contravention of the Constitution and the laws of Uganda and will be a nullity at law”, the petition adds.

The Forum for Democratic Change- Secretary General, Nathan Nandalla Mafabi raised the same issues in his petition to the Commission on June 10, 2022. Paul Bukenya, the Electoral Commission spokesperson confirmed that the committee leadership is meeting the petitioners at the headquarters in Kampala today.

The Electoral Commission is currently running activities for the Soroti East by-elections scheduled for July 28, 2022. The NRM party is already combing the ground after unveiling their flag bearer, Herbert Edmund Ariko.