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Two Women Aspirants Blocked from Nomination in Bukedea

The duo includes Helen Akol Odeke of FDC and Merab Amongin, an independent. Akol is in trouble for adapting her husband’s name- Odeke in her academic credentials, the matter said to be in court.
Helen Akol Odeke at EC Office in Bukedea.

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Two aspirants for the Bukedea Woman MP seat have been blocked by the Electoral Commission over academic qualifications and court cases.

The duo includes Helen Akol Odeke, the candidate for the Forum for Democratic Change, and Merab Amongin, an independent candidate. Akol's troubles stem from reports that her husbands name-Odeke also appears on her academic credentials, raising suspicion that the papers may be fake. The matter is still before the court.

Amongin, on the other hand, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison on August 3, by the Grade One Magistrate, Patrick Talifuna on two counts of selling unauthorized drugs and operating a drug shop without a license. She appealed against the sentence and secured bail after missing NRM primaries.

Bukedea District Registrar Raymond Kisarale says his office cannot nominate the two aspirants before the matters are resolved by the courts. Ugandan law bars convicts from contesting for any public office.

But Akol protested the decision by the registrar, citing foul play in the exercise, and points to the incumbent MP Anita Among for orchestrating the frustration, ad humiliation Women aspirants in Bukedea are facing.

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Bukedea District Electoral Commission office nominated ten candidates for different constituencies in the district. They include, among others Anita Among and her challenger, Sophie Akol, an independent candidate. The others nominated on Thursday include Patrick Opolot Isiagi, the incumbent MP of Kachumbala County, John Bosco Okojo, the incumbent Bukedea County MP, George Stephen Ekuma, Peterson Omoding, Stephen Ekoom, Abubakar Obilan and Henry Aleko.

Meanwhile, Silver Ariku, the National Unity Platform-NUP candidate for Ngora County was barred from nomination on Thursday, because he had not prebooked the date with the Electoral Commission.

But according to Ariku, all the two days the EC has set for nomination should not be subjected to an appointment. He says this could be a ploy to deny him nomination because he has all the credentials needed from any candidate by EC.

Meanwhile, in Katakwi, Violet Akurut was nominated to defend her seat hours after residual NRM primaries in which she edged out former Minister Jessica Alupo Epel.

Alupo had been controversially declared the winner of September 4, NRM primaries prompting Akurut to petition the NRM EC citing vote-rigging, alteration of declaration forms and withholding of her results in the Okore sub-county. But the NRM Tribunal last week resolved that the election was marred with irregularities and subsequently cancelled the outcome.

Also nominated on Thursday is State Minister for Information Technology Peter Ogwang, who is switching to the newly created Ngariam county,  which was carved out of Usuk, State Minister of Fisheries Hellen Ado, for the  Serere district MP seat, Elijah Okupa and who is also switching from Kasilo to the newly created Pingire County.

For the Soroti District Woman Member of Parliament race, three candidates which include the incumbent Angeline Osege Asio (Independent), Anna Adeke Ebaju (FDC) and Jesca Leah Amigo of NRM were nominated, while Esiangu Kenneth Eitunganan (Independent), John Robert Oiko (Independent) and Tom Julius Ekudo (FDC) were also nominated to contest for the Gweri County Parliamentary seat.

In Dakabela County, the incumbent Cosmas Elotu of NRM and Jonathan Erau of FDC party were nominated to face off in the general election, while in Ngora, those nominated include Dr Abraham Isamat, David Okurut and Ben Eumu for Kapir County, Jacklin Amongin for the Ngora Woman MP seat, Juliet Acayo and Dr Francis Epetait for Ngora County. The others were Stella Apolot Isodo, and David Abala.