Simon Ejua's Parliamentary Nomination under Threat

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Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 A parliamentary contender for the Vurra County seat in Arua wants court to block Simon Ejua's nomination as the National Resistance Movement candidate in next year's elections. Sam Okuonzi says Ejua was falsely declared winner for the NRM primary elections. He wants court to halt the nomination until the election result is reversed. Simon Ejua, the State Minister for Transport, fought a troubled battle for the NRM ticket against Okuonzi. The campaign was marred by complaints of voter intimidation and Ejua's alleged use of the police and the army to frustrate Okuonzi's team. When the primary elections were held in August, Sam Okuonzi was declared winner in Vurra. He beat Ejua by more than 6,000 votes. However nine days later, the NRM returning officer in Arua overturned his announcement and said Ejua was the outright winner. Okuonzi was livid and sued his opponent and the NRM electoral commission for theft of ballot papers and falsification of the results. Now his lawyer, Henry Rwaganika, has filed a petition at Arua High Court requesting for a injunction to block Ejua's nomination. Rwaganika says the nomination should be suspended until the court case seeking to overturn the NRM primary election results is concluded. Sam Okuonzi also wants court to prevent radio stations in Arua from declaring Simon Ejua as the NRM candidate in Vurra. Ejua and his legal team were quick to respond to the application. His lawyer, Paul Manzi, says there is no evidence against his client. He says if there were any proof of electoral malpractice, both Ejua and the NRM returning officer in Arua would have been arrested. Manzi says the Transport Minister won the vote outright by a margin of 5,000 votes. Justice John Kwesiga will give a ruling on the court petition on November 10th. ###


About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.