Opposition’s Lucy Akello takes Amuru seat

IPC's Lucy Akello celebrates
IPC’s Lucy Akello celebrates

Interparty candidate under their umbrella Interparty Coalition, Ms Lucy Akello, was on Thursday night declared as the winner in the Amuru Woman Member of Parliament by-election  in the concluded byelection in Amuru district.
Ms Akello garnered 7,420 votes beating her closest rival Ms Jane
Frances Amongin Okili, who contested on NRM ticket and got 6701 votes of the total votes cast.
Other contestants Acan Pauline independent got 775 votes, Suzan
Adokorach Bwot Conservative Party got 300 votes while Caroline Aber garnered 146 vote out of the total 15,342 vote casted.
Ms Akello in her maiden speech told Daily Monitor, that she is happy to have been chosen by the people of Amuru district.
She noted that she will work towards bringing development and
prosperity to the people of Amuru who have shown trust in her.
“Am delighted to be entrusted by the people of  Amuru to lead them in promoting development in the district,”
Registrar Amuru Electoral Commission, Mr Sam Olet, said the elections were free and fair and all the parties that competed in the election process should know that the process was not only done by EC, but other stakeholder inclusive.
The electoral commission Chairman Mr Badru Kigundu who was present during the tallying and announcement of the election results expressed his gratitude toward the peace observed during the by election.
He however asked Ms Akello to work along the footstep of Ms Betty Atuku Bigombe the former MP.

The release of the election results last night was however delayed for close to an hour, after election results from Otong Primary School polling station in Gaya Parish Pabbo Sub County went missing.

The ballot box seal was cut in an attempt to get the results, but the declaration forms were results are indicated was missing.
Attempts to grill the supervisor of the polling station to explain the cause of the missing election results were futile, thus prompting the registrar to announce the results less by one polling station.
There were 112 polling stations in Amuru district, but only results for one polling station were missing.
NRM Chairperson Amuru district, Juma Labong, however said the NRM did not lose out in the by election, but instead pointed an accusatory fingers at the electoral Commission.
“We had a strong candidate on the ground, we were winning in most of the sub counties, but all of a sudden the results turned against us,”
Mr Labongo, however admitted the strength of the Opposition party who camped in the area, but noted that their campaigns were only based on propaganda politics which was not good for leadership in the region.
“As NRM party Chairman in the district, I want to challenge the
results released by EC and demand that the election results be
nullified so that a fair by election be carried out,”
He cited that there was foul play by the EC as results from one of the polling stations in Otong primary school in Gaya Parish Pabbo
Sub-county, were not  found, adding that names of people in the
registry book in most areas were also missing.
Earlier in the day, Democratic Party President Norbert Mao, Mr told Daily Monitor that the opposition ran a very strong campaign in the area giving in positive messages of hope and also had a strong campaign organization and pulled their resources together.
“We have been campaigning against the government not the NRM; the president had been using the military helicopter for campaigns and also dishing out money to bribe people of Amuru,”
The victory in Amuru will give hope to the rest of Ugandans that it’s
possible to have change without bloodshed in the rest of the country, adds Mr Mao.
He noted that the joint opposition will also get together and rally behind the opposition candidate for the Busia LCV seat.
“We have discovered that the fragmentation of the opposition party has
been exploited by Mr Museveni and his government.  We have found the solution to the fragmentation; we are coming together as the united force struggling for the democracy of Uganda,” says Mr Mao.
The Amuru by-election follows the resignation of the incumbent Ms Betty Atuku Bigombe, after she secured a job with World Bank late this
year and she resigned respectively.

In the 2011 general election, Ms Okili, competed with Ms Bigombe on the NRM ticket.  She opted to contest as an independent after observing some irregularities in the NRM primaries.


Story by Daily Monitors’ Cissy Makumbi