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Polls called off in Sembabule over misallocation of symbols

Robert Beine, the Sembabule district returning officer confirmed report. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Local council elections have been called off in some parts of Sembabule district following a mismatch in the particulars of candidates as reflected on the ballot papers. The affected areas include Mateete sub county and Semababule town council.

In Sembabule town council, Joseph Ssenyondo an independent candidate for the directly elected LCV councillor’s position was attached with the National Resistance Movement-NRM bus symbol while Umar Maseruka, the National Unity Platform-NUP candidate was allocated a table instead of an umbrella. In Mateete sub county, many polling stations received polling materials meant for different areas.

Sembabule district returning officer, Robert Beine says that they were prompted to call off the election hours after the start of the exercise, following complaints about the mismatch of the candidate’s particulars. Beine says they attempted to rectify the anomaly in some areas but later noticed that it would gravely affect the election outcome.

He says the anomaly has affected 17 polling stations comprising 15,883 voters.

Beine says they have notified the Electoral Commission about the irregularity to set a new date for residual elections for the affected leaders. The official who doubles as the South Central Regional Elections Officer says similar mismatches have also been registered in some polling stations in Kyotera, Bukomansimbi and Mpigi districts.

Umar Maseruka, one the candidates affected by the suspension of the polls says the decision has far-reaching financial implications on them. He blames the Electoral Commission for operating in panic mode and failing to deliver to their expectations.

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