FDC queries 3 million votes, insists on presidential poll results audit

Tuesday April 5 2016

FDC president Mugisha Muntu (R) addresses

FDC president Mugisha Muntu (R) addresses journalists at the party headquarters in Kampala yesterday. Looking on are party chairperson Wasswa Birigwa (C) and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr Wafula Oguttu. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

By EBBER ATURINDE & YONAH AHABWE

Kampala.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) yesterday said it has evidence that votes were shifted from their candidate Kizza Besigye to President Museveni in 31 per cent of the 112 districts, bringing into question the validity of three million votes.
FDC President Gen Mugisha Muntu said in a statement that the party employed an expert who analysed the results of the 2016 presidential elections and discovered evidence of “incremental fraud” ranging from mistallying of votes to adding ghost voters to President Museveni’s final tally.
Gen Muntu said in his statement issued in Kampala that the FDC investigation into the election results also discovered that “absence of random patterns in the vote counts of Mr Museveni at 28,010 polling stations suggest a likelihood of human manipulation of the tallies in favour of the incumbent.”
With this evidence, the FDC reiterated its demand of an international audit of the elections and rejected last week’s Supreme Court ruling that upheld President Museveni’s victory, faulting the Justices for failing to “conduct the requisite audit of the election results”.
Gen Muntu told a press conference yesterday that FDC believes petitioning the Supreme Court would not resolve the impasse over the results because of the limited time for petitioning Court, narrow interpretation of the quantitative test and interference with aggrieved candidates’ process of collecting evidence, by the police and security forces.
However, Deputy government spokesman Col Shaban Bantariza yesterday said the discoveries by the FDC investigations were the same as those that were in former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi’s petition that was dismissed by the Supreme Court last week.
“These allegations are the same allegations that were addressed in the Mbabazi petition by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court proceedings were televised and the ruling was given. This should be the end of that,” Col Bantariza said.
Asked about the specific demand for an international audit of the results, Col Bantariza said “it would contradict or undermine the Supreme Court ruling”.

“An independent audit should have been brought up before the Supreme Court petition started. Furthermore, the Constitution dictates that disputes be solved in the courts of law,” Col Bantariza said.
But spelling out the legal basis of the election audit, Gen Muntu said it will be backed by Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitution, saying Uganda can borrow a leaf from countries like Afganistan, Kosovo and Haiti where audits have been carried out to resolve election disputes.
“The finer modalities of the election audit such as appointment of the audit team and the powers of the audit team to call witneses, discover documents and inspect evidence can be done under the auspices of the Commissions of Inquiry Act,” Gen Muntu said.
The Electoral Commission spoksman, Mr Jotham Taremwa yesterday insisted the FDC discoveries were “cooked” and urged Dr Besigye to “accept defeat”.

“In every competition there’s a winner and a loser. I would advise the FDC party and Dr Besigye to generously accept defeat and move on rather than coming up with cooked allegations. The allegations made by FDC are completely baseless,” Jotham Taremwa, Electoral commission Spokesman.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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