Aruu North By-election Underway

3002 Views Pader, Uganda

In short
Voters in 95 polling stations in Aruu North County in Pader district go to the polls today to elect a member of parliament. The Aruu North seat fell vacant in February following a Court of Appeal ruling that which overturned the election of Independent candidate Lucy Achiro Otim for non-compliance to electoral laws.

Voters in 95 polling stations in Aruu North County in Pader district go to the polls today to elect a member of parliament.

The electoral process scheduled to start at 7am is expected to close at 4pm. Security and man power has been heightened by arrival of police officers and Electoral Commission officials from neighbouring districts.
 
During the February 2016 polls, 24,300 people voted while approximately 2,220 new voters were registered. Voting materials which arrived in the district on Wednesday afternoon were received by agents of candidates and some voters.
 
Joseph Omona, the Pader district registrar says the Commission is set to deliver a free and fair election to the people of Aruu North after a largely peaceful campaign period.
 
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Electronic bio-metric kit will be used in this election that will be presided over by 380 polling officials. Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi is also in Pader to oversee the process.

Campaigns started on March 13th and ended on April 04th. Omona said Citizen Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) and the Uganda Human Rights Commission took part in civic and voter education.
 
The Aruu North seat fell vacant in February following a Court of Appeal ruling that upheld an earlier ruling by the High Court which overturned the election of Independent candidate Lucy Achiro Otim for non-compliance to electoral laws.

On February 6th, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Electoral Commission failed to conduct a vote recount requested by NRM party candidate James Nabinson Kidega.
 
Kidega who lost to Achiro by two votes petitioned court for a recount. Achiro had polled 8,599 votes against Kidega's 8,597, according to results released by Pader district returning officer Joseph Omona.
  
Seven candidates are in the race, including five Independents.
 
They include Nabinson James Kidega for NRM and Onen Bernard Ologi for the Democratic Party (DP). Those nominated as independent candidates are Lucy Achiro Otim, Justin Boswell Oryema, Henry Komakech Banya, David Ojera and Francis Nyero Helton Lakile.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.