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Hundreds camp at Soroti court as hearing of election petitions starts

People from different districts in Soroti Court.

Soroti, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Hundreds of supporters and their candidates have camped at Soroti Court premises as the hearing of election petitions commences. The petitioners, majorly from the ruling National Resistance Movement are contesting the results from the parliamentary election held on January 14th, 2021. 

Teso sub-region, which comprises eleven districts including Soroti City, voted six MPs from the Forum for Democratic Change- FDC, eight independent candidates and 14 from NRM.  However, this morning trucks loaded with supporters of the candidates who lost the just concluded polls arrived in Soroti City from different districts to present their cases to court. 

Most of the people ferried to Soroti were clad in yellow t-shirts of their respective candidates.  At the Chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by Monica Amono, the room was filled beyond the recommended capacity prompting the magistrate to eject some people. 

The hearing started with the petition of NRM’s Juliet Achayo Lodou, who dragged David Abala, the winner of the Ngora County parliamentary seat and Electoral Commission to Court.  Achayo is protesting the results announced by Peter Toddu, the Ngora District Returning Officer on January 15th, 2021. 

Through her lawyer, Halid Salim, Achayo wants a recount of the votes that she argues will be in her favour. She claims that her victory was robbed by Abala on polling day. Achayo also wants costs of litigation awarded to Abala and Electoral Commission. 

But in the submission by Abala’s lawyer, Philip Engulu, all the annexures attached by Achayo’s lawyer are a sham and prayed to the court to dismiss the case. The case is still being heard as numerous supporters who escorted Achayo are waiting outside the court.

Both Achayo and Abala are present in Court.  Our reporter also saw supporters wearing the t-shirts of Jacqueline Amongin, the Ngora District Woman MP and Monica Amoding, the Kumi District Woman MP who lost to Stella Isodo and Christine Apolot respectively.  It’s not yet clear how many petitions are before the court.

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