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Court rejects vote recount in Hoima West constituency

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HOIMA, UGANDA: Hoima Chief Magistrates Court has rejected an application for a vote recount in Hoima West Division constituency.

The application was filed by Ismail Kasule who contested on the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party ticket, against Dr Joseph Ruyonga of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Ruyonga emerged winner of the race with 6,396 votes against Kasule’s 6,212 votes.

The other candidates include Ronald Tumusiime, who polled 5,075 votes, Shem Byakagaba who got 1,681 votes and Geoffrey Beraheru who came last with 426 votes. But Kasule contested the result on account that so many of his votes were considered invalid, and hoped that with a recount, he could secure a win. There were 517 invalid votes.

According to Kasule, there were several omissions during the counting and declaration of results by the Electoral Commission, and as a result, he lost votes and paved way for Ruyonga’s win with a margin of 184 votes. Kasule thought the recount would ascertain the actual votes cast, votes declared invalid and votes declared as spoilt.

But in his ruling, George Obong, the Hoima Chief Magistrate said the applicant did not adduce enough evidence to show numerical errors as he claimed and dismissed the case with costs to the respondents.

“The applicant specifies errors committed by the respondents without specifically mentioning them. Clearly, this court and any other court cannot be dragged into working on conjecture,” Obong added. 

Speaking shortly after the court ruling, Kasule expressed dissatisfaction, adding that he is going to appeal the ruling in the High Court, next week, before the EC gazettes the elected MPs. 

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On the other hand, Ruyonga expressed happiness over the verdict and asked Kasule to accept defeat because at the end of the day there should be one winner.

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