What you need to know:
- Despite some irregularities, Mr Ojok Oulanyah has vowed to work with people to develop the area.
The ruling party’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate, Mr Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, was yesterday declared winner of the Omoro County by-election, beating five others.
According to the Electoral Commission (EC) tally, Mr Ojok scored 14,224 votes against National Unity Platform’s (NUP) Simon Toolit, who came second with 1,633 votes.
Independent candidate Terrence Odonga scored 532 votes, while the Forum for Democratic Change candidate, Mr Justine Odong, garnered 529 votes, and Mr Jimmy Walter Onen (Independent) got 88 votes.
Mr Oscar Kiiza, the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party candidate, came last with a total of 63 votes while there were 385 invalid votes. Of the total 38,638 registered voters, only 17,069 turned up.
While announcing the results, Mr Moses Kagona, the EC returning officer for Omoro District, said Mr Ojok Oulanyah, who is the son of the late Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, was the winner in the polls.
“Accordingly, as the returning officer for Omoro, I declare Mr Andrew Ojok Oulanyah who has obtained the largest number of votes to be the duly-elected MP of the Omoro County in Omoro District,” Mr Kagona said.
In his victory speech at Omoro District headquarters, Mr Ojok said he is set to unite the people of Omoro and work together with his opponents in the race to develop the district.
“After my victory, I am going to work with the people I contested with and put our heads and efforts together to develop Omoro County,” he said.
Mr Ojok said his victory can only make sense once he works together with the constituents who voted for him.
“I am going to work with the people the way my father did before his demise. If we are to develop Omoro County, it requires a combined effort and not me alone, I have to be with the people, listen to them and work together with them,” he said.
By 10pm, shortly after the EC declared the results, none of the five opponents of Mr Ojok was able to react to the election. Oulanyah was pronounced dead on March 20 in the US.
Oulanyah was the Omoro County MP from 2001 to 2005 and then from 2011 until his death.
Low voter turnout
There was a slow start in most areas due to the poor turn-out of voters and polling agents.
Whereas the Electoral Commission set 7am as the kick-off time, by 8:28am, the mandatory 10 voters and party agents required to be present while opening the ballot box were still absent at Opit Trading Centre Polling Station. At Corner Lakwaya Polling Station in Lakwaya Sub-county, the polling assistants and agents opened the ballot box at 8:17am.
At Awalkok Polling Station in Lalogi Sub-county, agents of candidates arrived at 8:20am, but the exercise could not kick off due to the absence of the mandatory 10 voters. It was only the two polling stations at Lokwii PS where voting had started by 8am but at polling stations in Odek Trading Centre and Teolam villages in Odek Sub-county, voting had not yet started by 8am.
At Aketket Polling Station in Lalogi Town Council, voting could not start by 7:45am due to low turn-out.