John-Kikonyogo FDC to petition court over Soroti by-election outcomes
John Kikonyogo the party’s Deputy Spokesperson

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has threatened to challenge the results of the Soroti East by-election won by Ariko Herbert of the National Resistance Movement.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has threatened to lodge a petition challenging the results of the Soroti East by-election that saw NRM’s Ariko Herbert declared the winner.

In an election that was held last week on Thursday, Ariko was declared the winner after garnering 9,407 votes over second-placed Moses Attan (FDC) who garnered 8,771 votes. Pascal Amuriat of the Uganda People’s Congress managed only 115 votes.

However, speaking at a press conference held at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Monday, John Kikonyogo the party’s Deputy Spokesperson said they are gathering more evidence of the various fraudulent activities they say marred the by-election.

Kikonyogo said as FDC, they are optimistic their candidate won the election but NRM’s top ranking officials influenced the outcomes after the voting exercise.

He said in addition to other irregularities including ballot stuffing, voter bribery, and intimidation of voters, many of Attan’s polling agents were whisked away to unknown places which made it hard for them to monitor the voting proceedings.

“The heightened election which we believe was won by our candidate Hon. Moses Attan was marred with grave irregularities which include massive Ballot stuffing, voter bribery, intimidation, and imprisonment by the state machinery of the military, RDCs and NRM’s high-ranking officials like Tang Odoi who personally engaged in the irregularities.”

“The Electoral Commission Chairperson and his commissioners cannot be excluded in the whole illegal process where our agents were arrested from the polling stations and aided by Electoral commission officials,” Kikonyogo said.

As a result, he added the party does not accept the results that were read out by the Electoral Commission because the election lacked credibility and was not free and fair as required under democratic principles.

Kikonyogo’s comments come in time after the Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, another party member cited loopholes in the voting exercise saying it was marred with thuggery and vote bribery.

Lukwago who made the remarks while appearing on NBS TV last week raised he was surprised why the EC did not call off the election after all irregularities that happened before and during the early stages of voting.

“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 last week.

“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 also among those manipulating voters with cash handouts and nothing was done to stop her action despite the EC being made aware.

“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.