Two contenders in the just concluded Arua Municipality MP party primaries have threatened to take another direction, run as independents after losing to Nusra Tiperu.
Tiperu was declared NRM flag bearer at 8pm by the NRM Electoral Commission chairman Dr Tanga Odoi at the Arua municipal council offices with 1,798 votes, beating seven other contenders who contested in the race to replace the fallen MP Ibrahim Abiriga.
The late Abiriga was assassinated by unknown assailants near his home in Kawanda, Wakiso district. Tiperu’s closest challenger Swadik Angupale gannered 1,443, followed by Jackson Atima who obtained 1,362 votes and John Lematia with 20.
Others were; Aluma Muhamad who polled 183 votes, Simon Ejua polled 118, Godfrey Obiga got 91 votes and Khalifan Mohamad obtained 59 votes. A jovial Tiperu commended the voters for entrusting her with the NRM flag and promised to ensure that the party retains the seat left by the late Ibrahim Abiriga.
However, the other candidates have since called the electoral process a sham, adding that they might run as independent candidates. These are led by Jackson Atima the second runner up who says he cannot accept the results because most of the voters were kept off from voting.
“About 70% of the voters did not exercise their right to vote. NRM secretariat did not play their role of displaying the register for people to check their names, they omitted people’s names, even me who has been voting here in the municipality, my name was missing. I did not vote myself, the whole election was a mess, they should not be surprised if I take another direction” Atim said.
He also accused one of the candidates of rigging the election, explaining that even when police was called in and agents were found pre-ticking the ballots, nothing was done.
Atim’s concern was supported by Swadik Angupale the first runner up who also expressed disappointment with the manner in which the NRM Electoral Commission managed the entire process.
“I am disappointed in the way NRM EC organized this election, I want to say there was what we call advanced rigging. The NRM which is the ruling party could not provide basins for people to tick, you can tick in the open, and there was no ink. This will backfire on the party. If not all of us, some of us are going independent and I am one of them” he said.
But, Sam Engola the National NRM Vice chairperson for northern Uganda dismissed claims.
“I have been here in the field and I don’t see anything wrong. We have taken all the candidates by surprised, by using the voters’ register of 2016 that is why they are complaining. The election has gone peacefully, there is not a single mistake anywhere, I have been in many polling stations” Engola said.
The race to replace late Abiriga has attracted 16 candidates, with 15 of these all on independent ticket.
The national Electoral Commission roadmap shows that nominations for the candidates started today, Thursday and will end tomorrow Friday July 19, 2018, while the election will be held on August 15, 2018.