In a dig at the Electoral Commission, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said the Soroti by-election was characterized by thuggery and vote bribery.
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has aimed a dig at the Electoral Commission over the manner in which the Soroti by-election was held saying that it was characterised by thuggery and vote bribery.
Herbert Ariko scooped victory to become the new Soroti East Member of Parliament after garnering 9,407 votes over second-placed Moses Attan (FDC) who got 8,771 votes and Pascal Amuriat of the Uganda People’s Congress managed only 115 votes.
Speaking about the election outcomes, Erias Lukwago who was quick to question why the EC did not call off the election said it was not held free and fairly.
Lukwago said the ruling party turned the election into a war.
“Thuggery has happened today. There was no election today. The whole of Soroti was turned into a battlefield. It’s been horror, nothing else but horror, and it’s regrettable. A reasonable person can’t justify the invasion of the home of Hon. Ann Adeke, the arrest of the FDC party President Patrick Amuriat,” Lukwago said.
“I expected Justice Byabakama (Electoral Commission Chairperson) to call off the election after all the thuggery he witnessed. Honestly speaking, no sane person would attempt to justify this kind of horror that happened today.”
In addition, he said Prime Minister Hon Robinah Nabbanja was manipulating voters with cash handouts which are also unlawful. He said it is high time Ugandans give up on engaging in such elections because they can never be free and fair.
“When you talk about criminality, it should have started with Nabbanja (Prime Minister). She was superintending over the distribution of money at Lion’s Club. She was like an ATM during this electoral process.”
“We are sitting on a time bomb in this country. People are tired of this kind of election. It’s high time we came to a consensus that we boycott these elections,” Lukwago added.
His submission was also supported by opposition colleague Winnie Kizza who linked the situation in Soroti to her time in 2012 when she took part in the Kasese by-election.
“What has happened in Soroti reminds me of what happened in Kasese in 2012. I was forced to go for a by-election, similar to what happened in Soroti East. NRM badly wanted this seat (Soroti East). I don’t know which magic this one person is coming with to change the problems in Soroti.”
Kizza said the same undemocratic issues including unfair elections that took President Museveni to the bush are the same things he’s presiding over as the Chairman of NRM.
“We would want to have quality elections in Uganda. The quality of elections depends on how people vote. We can’t develop our democracy when we believe it’s those with guns or money that will win the election.
What was in Soroti is regrettable, and I don’t think my brothers in NRM should pride in it,” Kizza added.