Security beefed up as Soroti East votes MP today

The people of Soroti East Division Constituency woke up today to cast their ballots for a suitable candidate to represent them in Parliament.

By yesterday, there was heavy security deployment in preparation for the by-election that has seen the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) bigwigs and the Opposition storm the eastern city  for campaigns. 

The East Kyoga police spokesperson, Mr Oscar Ageca, yesterday said that they deployed enough manpower in the 13 wards.   “We will not allow anybody to disrupt the polls,” he said.

Ms Christine Eyu, the city returning officer, confirmed that the elections will start at 7am and end at 5pm.

“The ballot papers arrived on Tuesday evening and we are set to conduct the elections [today],” Ms Eyu said.

She said representatives from various political parties witnessed the arrival of the ballot boxes, which were kept in police custody. 

The three candidates in the race are Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party’s Moses Attan Okia, Mr Herbert Edmund Ariko (NRM), and Uganda Peoples Congress party’s Pascal Amuriat.

The seat fell vacant after Court of Appeal threw Mr Attan out of Parliament in June, on the account that the Electoral Commission (EC) had not properly demarcated boundaries within the constituency, consequently disenfranchising 5,233 voters from both Aloet and Opiyai precincts. 

Besides the parliamentary elections, EC will also conduct a by-election for the directly elected councillor for Pioneer Ward, a position which fell vacant after the incumbent, Mr Gabriel Eteso, was appointed Serere deputy Resident District Commissioner.  

 Soroti City East Division comprises 13 wards, with 63 polling stations.

FDC candidate unwell

Meanwhile, Mr Attan was last night taken to a Kampala hospital for medical check-up in what party members claim was a poisoning attempt.

On his social media handle, Mr Attan said he was poisoned and it is the reason he left the last campaign in Moruapesur Primary School grounds early.

Mr Paul Omer, the mayor for Soroti East Division, said by the time Mr Attan was taken out of the rally, he was having pain all over his body. We were unable to verify the claim.