KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Electoral Commission in Bukedea district has declared the ruling National Resistance Movement candidate, Mary Akol as the winner of the LC 5 By-election, DailyExpress reports.
Ms Akol defeated her two rivals – Sam Odeke Oita of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Lokwiisk Ebukalin (Independent) in the election held on Wednesday, June 14, 2023.
According to the Bukedea district returning Officer declaration, Mr Joel Mugyenyi, and Ms Akol garnered 79692 votes against Mr Ebukalin in second with 4941 votes while Mr Odeke trailed in the three-man race with 2343 votes.
FDC Pulls out race
On election day, FDC said it had decided to withdraw from the race a few hours after the commencement of the voting exercise, citing fraud.
FDC claimed its agents who arrived at polling stations before 6:00 am discovered that “ballot boxes had already been tampered with” and in some cases “ballots were pre-ticked.”
The FDC President, Mr Patrick Amuriat Oboi who was monitoring the election, claimed all the ballot papers had been pre-ticked and the ballot boxes were already filled to the brim at most polling stations.
“Our intelligence sources point to the fact that the majority of these fraudulent ballot papers were pre-ticked from several schools around Bukedea and Bukedea Central Police Station on the night of June 13,” he said, without providing proof of his claims.
The Electoral Commission would later say in a statement that it had “not received any notice of withdrawal of candidature in the ongoing by-election for District Chairperson, Bukedea District.”
Section 172(1) of The Local Government Act provides that “… a candidate may withdraw his or her candidature at any time before polling day by a written notice addressed to the Returning Officer and signed by the candidate.”
Further, Section 19(2a) of the Parliamentary Elections Act provides that, “… Where a candidate is sponsored by a political party or organisation, the notification shall be signed and filed by the Secretary General of the Political Party or Organisation or any other person authorised by the political party or organisation.”
Ms Akol who now replaces the late Chairperson, Moses Olemukan previously served as the deputy LC 5 chairperson of the district.
Olemukan died in December 2022, only a year and a half into his tenure after losing battle to colon cancer.
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