The Electoral Commission has now declared National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) Juliet Achayo Lodou as the winner for Ngora county parliament.
Earlier, Ngora district returning officer, Peter Toddu declared the incumbent, David Abala as the winner of the parliamentary seat on January 15. Toddu, in his declaration of results, gave Abala 8,317 votes against Achayo’s 7,828.
The other candidates; Francis Eepetait of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) polled 353 votes, Isaac Olupot and Patrick Ongodia – both independent candidates got 65 and 280 votes respectively, totalling 16,819 valid votes, 401 invalid votes and 11 spoilt votes.
But Achayo contested the results and ran to court for a vote recount which application was also dismissed by Soroti chief magistrate, Monica Amono on grounds of insufficient evidence. Achayo argued that Abala was declared the winner on the basis of results from only 54 out of 65 polling stations.
Although Amono, in her ruling highlighted that there were irregularities in the election processes and tallying of results, she declined to order for a vote recount. She also noted that only a competent court would address the issues that she’d raised.
These included unsigned declaration forms at some polling stations, varying results at polling stations like Kopege CoU, Kees Catholic Church, Pasam Mango tree, Opero Catholic Church and Omaditok, among others.
After the court ruling, Achayo, through her lawyer Halid Salim indicated that she would pursue the matter further. Now, the Electoral Commission head office has announced that Achayo emerged the winner after completing the counting of votes from all the polling stations.
According to EC spokesman, Paul Bukenya, Achayo was declared the winner after the commission added votes from eleven polling stations that had not been included earlier.
“The complete polling station returns and ascertained results show that Acayo obtained the highest number of votes, and she is the winner of the elections”, Bukenya said in a confirmation text.
Achayo, according to the results from Kampala polled 9,517 while Abala got 9,226 votes. News of Achayo’s victory has left residents in Ngora in a dilemma. Sam Opolot, a resident of Korom village in Ngora says he doesn’t know which results to believe in.