By Solomon Arinaitwe
The electoral commission has finally gazetted Mr Kassiano Wadri Ezati as the Arua Municipality Member of Parliament, more than 10 days after he was elected.
Mr Wadri polled 6,528 votes (38%), beating the NRM’s Nusura Tiperu who came second with 4,763 votes(27%) followed by Independent candidate Robert Ejiku with 2,703 votes (15%). FDC’s Bruce Musema followed in 3rd place with 1,372 (4%).
In a letter to the clerk to the parliament dated Thursday 23rd August 2018, the Electoral Commission finally put to rest, fears that had been building since his arrested and subsequent arraignment at Gulu Magistrates on charges of treason.
Wadri and 32 others were arrested a day before the elections, following fracas on the final day of the campaigns and taken to Gulu.
The group faces charges of terrorism at the Gulu Magistrates Court and is expected back in the court on August 30th.
Prosecution accuses the MP-elect and 33 other opposition supporters of pelting President Museveni’s motorcade with stones with the intention of harming him.
Treason is a capital offence which upon conviction, attracts a death sentence.
Mr Museveni has indicated that the NRM will challenge Mr Wadri’s victory in court, accusing the opposition of importing voters to Arua and intimidating women, scaring them away from voting.
Prior to being gazette, tempers had started flaring up, with many questioning why the MP-elect was not gazetted as winner of the Arua Municipality by-election, a prerequisite for him to be sworn in.
The Parliamentary Elections Act, however, does not provide a time frame on when results or a winner has to be gazetted.
The MP-elect together with his co accused are currently appearing before the High Court in Gulu for hearing of their bail application.