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Soroti High Court Registers Six Election Petitions

The petitions are from Dodoth East Constituency in Kaabong District, Toroma County in Katakwi district, Soroti East and Soroti West Divisions in Soroti City, Ngora County in Ngora district and Matheniko County in Moroto district.
MP David Abala.
Soroti High Court has recorded six election petitions from the Karamoja and Teso sub-regions. The petitions are from Dodoth East Constituency in Kaabong District, Toroma County in Katakwi district, Soroti East and Soroti West Divisions in Soroti City, Ngora County in Ngora district and Matheniko County in Moroto district. 

In Dodoth East Constituency, Samson Lokeris- NRM, also the incumbent is challenging the election of Emmanuel Komol, an Independent candidate over alleged voter bribery. Komol beat Lokeris with a difference of eleven votes.

In Toroma County, Solomon Ossiya Alemu- the NRM candidate who lost the bid to unseat Joseph Andrew Koluo says that the elections were neither free and fair. Koluo who lost the NRM flag to Ossiya garnered 9,179 while Ossiya got 8,013 votes.

In Soroti City West Division, two voters, Anne Grace Ameco and Donald Okwasi are challenging the election of Jonathan Ebwalu over academic qualifications. Ebwalu, an independent beat the NRM’s David Calvin Echodu with 7,248 against 5,286 votes for Echodu.

Herbert Edmund Ariko, the Soroti Municipality MP has dragged FDC’s Moses Attan Okia and the Electoral Commission to court over election malpractices. Ariko, who lost his bid to represent Soroti City East Division in parliament first dragged six residents who petitioned the court over Soroti City boundaries in September last year to court seeking review of the judgement that annexed Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West.

After the review of the judgement by Justice Wilson Masalu Musene, the same court reversed the contested wards to Soroti City East Division. Ariko now wants the election results nullified on grounds that the elections were conducted in non-existence areas.

In Ngora County, David Abala, an Independent candidate during the January elections had dragged Juliet Achayo Lodou of NRM to court together with Electoral Commission. Abala was first declared the winner by the Ngora District Returning Officer, Peter Toddu but the commission later declared Achayo in Kampala on grounds that Abala had been declared before adding up votes from eleven polling stations.

The Ngora County case first appeared before Chief Magistrate’s Court in Soroti seeking a vote recount but the case was dismissed with costs. According to the petitioner, there were many irregularities during the elections.

In Matheniko County, Paul Oloo, an independent candidate who lost his bid to unseat John Baptist Lokii of NRM is contesting the outcome of the elections on grounds that they were bribery. Oloo got 6,606 votes while Lokii won with 6,794 votes.

According to the court official who didn’t want to be named because she is not authorized to speak to the media, the court is yet to set the date for the hearing of the petitions.

“We don’t expect any more election petitions because the time given for such cases has elapsed. After harmonizing the program with the petitioners, dates for the hearing will be announced”, the officer said.