Constitutional Court Ruling Hits Independents Hard

1492 Views Gulu, Uganda
Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Independent candidates in Gulu say that the constitutional court ruling nullifying incumbent party members of parliament who were nominated as independents without vacating their seats has affected their campaigns. The candidates claim that their rivals have taken advantage of the constitutional court ruling to confuse the voters. Peter Okot, an Independent candidate for Omoro parliamentary elections says that his rivals are deliberately misinforming the voters that he was disqualified from the race. Okot says that he has been receiving several phone calls from his supporters who want to know whether he is still in the race. Henry Kilama Komakech, another Independent candidate for Gulu Municipality MP seat says that he has also received several phone calls from asking about his candidature. But Kilama and Okot say they are not affected by the court ruling because they never belonged to any political party. Komakech who is also a professional lawyer clarified that the ruling only affects politicians who were elected on a party ticket or as Independent but changed positions without resigning. //Cue in: "There is nothing wrong..." Cue out: "...belonged to any party."// Joyce Nyapok, a registered voter in Gulu town says that she is confused about the ruling and does not who of the candidates contesting in her area are disqualified. She says none of the candidates is willing to come out clean about the matter. Peter Ojara, a resident of Library parish in Gulu municipality wants the electoral commission to help the voters by naming the affected candidates. In Gulu and Amuru districts, the parliamentary candidates likely to be affected by the ruling include David Penytoo, the incumbent Gulu Municipality MP; Michael Ocula, Kilak county and Concy Aciro, incumbent Amuru woman MP. Penytto and Ocula went to parliament on FDC ticket but they are currently contesting as independent candidates while Aciro went to parliament as an independent but now is now contesting on FDC ticket.