By Julius Ocungi
The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama and five other commissioners including his deputy have pitched camp in Pader district, to ensure total transparency as the by-election for Aruu North County constituency gets underway.
Addressing candidates’ agents and other some stakeholders during a pre-polling meeting held at district council hall on Thursday evening, Justice Byabakama appealed to candidates and their supporters to maintain law and order as they go to the polls today.
Responding to claims by independent candidate Henry Komakech that there were plans to rig the election through polling officials, the commission chairperson said they were there to ensure that the entire exercise is free, fair and transparent to avoid chaos.
The race for the Aruu County parliamentary seat has attracted NRM’s James Kidega and Democratic Party’s Vincent Okot.
The others are Bernard Obina, Justin Boswell Oryema, Lucy Aciro and Henry Komakech- all independent candidates.
Earlier on Friday morning, the Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy (CCEDU) said late delivery of voting materials characterized the polling exercise at some stations.
According to the national Coordinator CCEDU, Mr. Crispy Kaheru, agents and Electoral officials were at some polling stations by 7:00am but by 10:00am voting materials had not yet been delivered.
CCEDU has dispatched a team of observers to monitor the elections in the seven sub-counties of Aruu North.
Earlier Kaheru also noted that there is only one female candidate and non with disabilities in a race that has attracted four men.
He said this is a sign of imbalance.
He added that there is urgent need for a clear definition of the role of the UPDF and security agencies in elections because this is likely to cause anxiety among voters.
The by election was organized after the Court of Appeal confirmed the High Court decision which nullified the election of Ms Lucy Aciro Otim as MP for Aruu North Constituency in Pader District.
The Court of Appeal agreed with the lower court that Aciro’s election did not comply with the electoral laws.