BUSIA. Five candidates have been nominated to contest for the forthcoming Busia LC5 by-election as campaigns kick off officially.
Among the five candidates nominated by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the two-day exercise that ended on Wednesday include Mr Paul Boniface Oguttu, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer and Mr Deo Njoki Hasubi the Democratic Party candidate.
Others are Mr Chrispus Bwire, Mr Tony Ojambo and Geoffrey Wandera, all independent candidates.
Mr Umar Kiyimba, the district returning officer, told journalists at the Busia council hall that only one candidate failed to get nominated after he failed to raise the required signatures.
“We had one candidate who could not be nominated because he failed to raise the required signatures as stipulated by the Electoral Commission,” Mr Kiyimba, said.
The elections are scheduled to take place on November 18, 2018.
The seat fell vacant in May, after Court of Appeal in Mbale District threw out Mr Ouma Adea on grounds that he had been convicted of corruption in 2013.
The Democratic Party president, Mr Nobert Mao, speaking after the nomination of his party candidate, Mr Njoki, urged the electorates to vote with conscience.
“You need a leader who will propel the district to greater heights and not just anybody can do that,” he said.
Mr Mao further warned the ruling party against rigging the elections, adding the opposition will remain peaceful throughout the exercise.
“We are warning the ruling party that should they rig elections, we will occupy all the public spaces in Busia District and make it difficult for anyone to stay in and operate. We want a free and fair election,” Mr Mao said.
Mr Njoki, the two time contender for the same seat, who has on both fronts lost to the ruling party candidate, said he will serve his people diligently if voted into office.
“My leadership is to serve people and to see that our district is on the right track in economic development,” he said.
Mr Oguttu, the NRM candidate, warned the voters against entrusting leadership into the hands of the Opposition candidate, saying they are not developmental.
Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the chairperson of the commission, recently warned candidates against violence which could lead to loss of lives as witnessed in the by- elections in Bugiri, Jinja and Arua.
“We want peaceful and fair elections in Busia,” Justice Byabakama said.
The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has agreed to support the Democratic Party (DP) counterparts in the by-election.
In 2016, NRM beat united Opposition in Busia by-election. it clinched victory in the LC5 Busia by-elections, scooping a 59% share of the votes. NRM’s Stephen Wanyama Oundo emerged winner, polling 31,443 votes, which represents 59 per cent of the total votes cast. Oundo’s closest contender was inter-party coalition candidate Mr Deo Hasubi Njoki who garnered 21,844 votes representing 41 per cent of the total votes cast , while 1358 votes were invalid bringing the total number of votes to 54,645.