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Tension Mounts in Ngora as Supporters of Rival 'MP-Elects’ Clash

The Electoral Commission last week reversed results of the January 14, election, through which the incumbent MP David Abala had been declared the winner. Initial Results released by Peter Toddu, the Ngora District Returning Officer indicated that Abala won the seat with 8,317 votes, against Achayo' score of 7,828 votes.
Achayo with her supporter in Soroti.

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Tension is mounting in Ngora County following the announcement of new MP-elect for the constituency by the Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission last week reversed results of the January 14, election, through which the incumbent MP David Abala had been declared the winner. Initial Results released by  Peter Toddu, the Ngora District Returning Officer indicated that Abala won the seat with  8,317 votes, against Achayo' score of 7,828 votes.

But Paul Bukenya, the Commission’s Spokesman said the declaration was based on votes from 54 out of 65 polling stations and the final count instead gave the win to Juliet Achayo Lodou, a candidate for the National Resistance Movement-NRM party. The new results now indicate that Achayo polled 9,517 while Abala got 9,226 votes.

The announcement of a new winner, however, sparked a mixed reaction from residents; Achayo’s group was thrilled with excitement as Abala’s supporters remained bewildered. In some trading centres, rival supporters have been fighting each other, leaving a number of them with injuries, and one life lost.

The deceased, one of the supporters of David Abala has been identified as Patrick Ojakol, a resident of Opege Village in Odwarat Sub County. He was reportedly beaten by Joel Okello, a supporter of Juliet Achayo Lodou. The duo picked up a fight over the results at Opege polling station.

John Okure, Abala’s Personal Assistant and campaign manager says several of their supporters have been beaten after the electoral commission announced Achayo as the winner. He identified Julius Ali, a resident of Kobwin as one of the supporters who have been beaten by the rival camp.

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Another resident identified as Sam Omongole is on the run after supporters of Achayo allegedly started hunting him for leaking information to Abala’s camp. Omongole has been cited in both camps.

Samuel Baker Anguria, a businessman in Ngora town says the violence is setting in because people are confused.

“We only hear this news from the media but no one has come out to explain whatever happened to us. If the government cares for the people of Ngora, they need to come out and explain to residents how Abala’s results were overturned,” he said.

Albert Okwajo, another businessman in Ngora Town Council says that the commission needs to come out and explain to the voters. “For now, it’s only the media feeding us. But this is not satisfactory to many people including me. We want Electoral Commission to speak out on this matter urgently”, he said.

David Ongom Mudong, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman says that they have received information indicating planned demonstrations in Ngora. He, however, said that he will consult with his colleagues to ascertain reports of death and injuries if any in the district.

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On Sunday, residents of Ngora New Village buried another victim of political violence in the district. Michael Obukui, 40, the deceased, was allegedly beaten to coma by his uncle, Yapese Omuge over his alleged support to George William Otim, now the Odwarat Sub County Chairperson-elect. Omuge, who was supporting the rival candidate, Alfred Okulu picked up a fight with Obukui during the recent LC III polls. The latter was injured severely and died at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital last Friday.