Voting or being voted for in general elections might be a routine that occurs every five years as the country elects its leaders. But in Acholi and other areas of northern Uganda, the 2011 general election is being treated with much enthusiasm for many reasons.
Many people in Acholi region attribute their enthusiasm to the fact that this will be the first time in two decades that the communities in Acholi region shall be voting under a peaceful environment following the exit of the Lord's Resistance Army rebels.
After casting their polls in the confinement of the IDP camps for decades, the people have since returned and resettled in their villages following the return of peace in the region.
Godfrey Bedmot, a resident of Odek Sub County, says that there is presently a high level of freedom by the former displaced persons to express themselves and participate in the elections.
Bedmot adds that voter bribery would also reduce notably because he explains that people are less vulnerable than they were in the camps.
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The excitement has not only gripped the voters. People seeking leadership positions have also stepped up their game.
Three people from the Acholi sub region have expressed interest to contest for the country's top position.
Charles Lutara Opio, recently picked nominations forms to join Norbert Mao, the DP party president and Olara Otunu, the UPC party president who have all confirmed their intentions to challenge for the presidency.
Aware that the excitement is not all they need in the elections, some residents have dismissed the intending aspirants, saying they presently do not have what it takes to be elected president.
Ignatius Obol, a resident of Langol village in Nwoya County in Amuru district, says that Mao, Olara and Lutara have to work extra hard to win the approval of the Acholi.
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While the 2006 election campaigns saw politicians in the Acholi region peg their issues on peace, the strategy must change because peace has returned and the people want a fresh agenda for the Acholi region.
The opposition enjoyed much support because it accused government of being responsible for the war and the misery of the people but the end of the war now promises to change the tone f the elections.
Many voters are now challenging the intending aspirants to outline the issues they seek to address before they can be assured of votes.
Anthony Onencan, a resident of Lalogi Sub County says that the resettled communities are focused on electing competent leaders.
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David Anyanzo Butti, the Gulu Electoral Commission registrar admits there is a marked level of interest among the community. He says the number of polling stations have increased from 264 to 299.
He says that the electoral commission is yet working on the register following a recent voter update to establish the number of new voters.
2011 general elections