Herbert Ariko scoops victory in Soroti East by election
Ariko was declared the winner after garnering 9,407 votes.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer Herbert Ariko has scooped victory to become the new Soroti East Member of Parliament.

Herbert Ariko, the flag bearer of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), has won the election to become the new Member of Parliament for Soroti East.

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.

“I hereby express infinite gratitude for the support granted unto me by the people of Soroti City East to represent & serve you. This victory is your. Let’s all work together for the dev’t of our city,” Ariko said shortly after being announced the winner.

The election was characterized by massive arrests of opposition figures and raids on their camps plus allegations of pre-ticked ballots.

According to FDC’s Moses Attan, there was bias and voter bribery at almost all polling stations by the NRM under the watch of security although the Electoral Commission continues to deny the said allegations.

Earlier on before the elections, Attan also claimed he was given the local anti-poison a reason he gave for departing the campaign venue on Wednesday mid-way the rally.

“I was poisoned yesterday. You may have realised I left the rally before it ended. I was given the local anti-poison and my night was tough – vomiting and diarrhoea. 

By 3:30 am, I was too weak and had to be moved to a clinic where I was managed and after one and a half hours I was moved out of Soroti to a private facility for further management to avoid our enemies to access me,” Attan said in a statement.

In addition, raised despite plans by his enemies to fail him, he is very optimistic that he will be on the ground come voting day tomorrow.

“I give glory to God,that I am alive and getting stronger. Thank you so much,most especially those on the ground doing everything possible to protect our victory that shall be declared tomorrow after 4pm,” he added.

“Our enemies have gotten desparate and restless, however they have no choice but to accept the will of the people and God. I am returning to the constituency today after further check ups, examinations and treatment. I will be fighting to the end! With God on our side.”

Attan who had served for a short time as the area legislator saw his victory was recalled by the Court over irregularities.

How the position fell vacant 

Following a complaint, the Court of Appeal in May 2022, withdrew victory from Moses Attan as the area Member of Parliament on claims that the election was not conducted freely and fairly.

The judgment came up after an appeal by one voter who challenged the annexation and transfer of Opiyai and Aloet wards from Soroti East to Soroti West after the nomination of the candidates, which denied over 4,560 voters the right to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

The court ruled then that at the time of voter verification, Opiyai and Aloet Awards (polling stations) were verified and confirmed to fall under Soroti East and therefore that sudden change left voters at a loss and confused as to where they belong and whom to vote for as they were presented with ballot papers of strange candidates than the ones they expected to vote for.