FDC heads to court over Soroti East by-election loss

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Patrick Amuriat reiterated the party position of July 28 saying it was a sham election. PHOTO | FILE

The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has said it has started compiling evidence to file a petition at Soroti High Court challenging the declaration of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate as the MP-elect for Soroti East Division.

The Soroti District returning officer, Mr Christine Eyu, last week declared Mr Herbert Edmund Ariko, as the winner after he garnered 9,257 votes against Mr Moses Attan Okia (FDC) who got 8,544.

While addressing journalists yesterday at their offices in Najjanankumbi, the deputy spokesperson of FDC, Mr John Kikonyogo, said the party does not accept the by-election results.

“The heightened election, which we believe was won by Mr Attan, was marred with grave irregularities including massive ballot staffing, voter bribery, intimidation, and imprisonment [of agents] by state machinery,’’ Mr Kikonyogo said.

“We cannot accept these elections. We are gathering evidence to go to court. We are asking the people of Soroti to be calm as we take our next step,’’ he added.

According to him, more than 100 people, including the party president, were arrested before and during the election. He said 15 of their supporters are still missing.

The FDC party president, Mr Patrick Amuriat Oboi, reiterated the party position of July 28 saying it was a sham election.

“We were detained in East Kyoga headquarters and we were later transferred to Dokolo until Sunday when we were released. We were detained on the orders of the Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja,” Mr Amuriat said.

He accused the military of abducting their agents from the polling stations and forcing them to sign declaration forms at gunpoint.

Daily Monitor could not independently verify the allegation

“In Omalera Polling Station, pre-ticketed ballot papers were stuffed in the ballot box, vehicles destroyed, and there were arrests throughout the city,”  he said.

Mr Amuriat said although Mr Ariko was declared winner, he is not going to be the MP of Soroti East Division because he never won the majority vote.

“This is going to be a classic case, we have already tested the EC, we are going to test the courts again, and we shall have a lot to write about back at home,”Mr Amuriat said.

At the same conference, the FDC party called for the resignation of the executive director of the Uganda Media Centre, Mr Ofwono Opondo, following an altercation with their deputy president, Mr Erias Lukwago.

Mr Lukwago, who also doubles as the Kampala Lord Mayor, last week had a verbal exchange with Mr Opondo while appearing on a television talk show.

Mr Kikonyogo said it was prudent for Mr Opondo to resign after the incident for failure to control his emotions.

Police have since summoned Mr Opondo to record a statement. He is yet to respond to calls for his resignation.


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