Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Electoral Commission has declared the National Resistance Movement- NRM candidate Juliet Achayo Lodou as the winner for Ngora county parliamentary seat after the complete tally of all the 65 polling stations in the county.
Ngora District Returning Officer Peter Toddu had declared the incumbent, David Abala as the winner on January 15, 2021. Toddu in his declaration of results gave Abala 8,317 votes against Achayo who got 7,828 votes. The other candidates; Francis Eepetait of FDC got 353 votes, Isaac Olupot and Patrick Ongodia- both independent candidates got 65 and 280 votes respectively, totaling 16,819 valid votes, 401 invalid votes and eleven spoilt votes.
But Achayo contested the results and ran to court for a vote recount which application was also dismissed by Soroti Chief Magistrate Monica Amono on grounds of insufficient evidence. Achayo argued that Abala was declared the winner on the basis of results from only 54 out of 65 polling stations.
Although Amono in her ruling highlighted that there were irregularities in the election processes and tallying of results, she declined to order a vote recount. She also noted that only a competent court would address the issues raised. These included unsigned declaration forms in some polling stations, varying results in polling stations like Kopege CoU, Kees Catholic Church, Pasam Mango tree, Opero Catholic Church and Omaditok among others.
After the court ruling, Achayo through her lawyer Halid Salim indicated that she would pursue the matter further. But now, the Electoral Commission head office has announced that Achayo emerged the winner after completing the counting from all the polling stations. According to the commission’s spokesman Paul Bukenya, Achayo was declared the winner after the commission added votes from eleven polling stations that had not been included at the declaration of Abala.
“The complete polling station returns and ascertained results show that Acayo obtained the highest number of votes and she is the winner of the elections,” Bukenya said in a confirmation text. Achayo according to the results from Kampala polled 9,517 votes while Abala got 9,226 votes.
The news of Achayo’s victory has left residents in Ngora in a dilemma. Sam Opolot, a resident of Korom village in Ngora says he doesn’t know which results to believe in. He is however worried about the outcome of the new results.
Charles Peter Obelon, LC III elect for Ngora sub county says they are preparing to celebrate Achayo’s victory on Saturday. He revealed that Achayo will be leading a procession to celebrate her victory with voters from Tororo trading center in Ngora sub county to Ngora town council and later a party at Kobwin, Achayo’s farm.