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Gulu EC Rejects Vote Recount of Bargede –Layibi Division Mayoral Race

Benson Obette, the Gulu District Registrar of the Electoral Commission turned down Ogwette’s request on the ground that he petitioned his office late.
Copy of Ogwette's Petition to Gulu District Registrar of the Electoral Commission for vote recount

Audio 1

The Gulu District Registrar of the Electoral Commission has rejected a petition for the recount of the Bargede –Layibi Gulu City Division Mayoral votes.

On January 26th, George Ogwette, the former Democratic Party –DP candidate for Bardege –Layibi Division Mayoral race wrote to the Gulu District Registrar of the Electoral Commission demanding for a mandatory vote recount after he protested the result where Patrick Lumumba Oola was declared the winner with 2,636 votes against his 2,594 votes. Oola won Ogwette with 42 votes.

Ogwette through his lawyers from Odongo and Company Advocates demanded the mandatory recount of the votes under Section 172 of the Local Government Act Cap. 243 as amended and Section 54 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005 as amended, in a bid for the winner to be determined.

However, Benson Obette, the Gulu District Registrar of the Electoral Commission turned down Ogwette’s request on the ground that he petitioned his office late.  Obette explains that disclosed a returning officer cannot sanction a recount of votes after the declaration and transmission of the election results.

According to Obette, a candidate is supposed to request for a recount of votes only during the tallying process and that if the results have already been declared and transmitted, the candidate can apply to the Chief Magistrate for the recount.

He said he advised the complainant to apply to the court under Section 55 of the Parliamentary Elections Act.

Ogwette says that he has petitioned the Chairman Electoral Commission in Kampala.

Meanwhile, Patrick Lumumba Oola, the winner in the Bardege –Layibi Division Mayoral race said even if a recount of the votes is sanctioned, he is sure that he will still be declared a winner.

// Cue in: “The recount will… Cue out …votes he got.” //