KAARO KARUNGI | Kayunga – Harriet Nakwedde, the runner up for the Kayunga Woman Member of Parliament race on the National Unity Platform-NUP ticket in the January 14, elections has petitioned the High Court in Mukono seeking the cancellation of results and also order for a by-election.
Former minister Idah Erios Nantaba was declared winner of the race with 42,725 votes and the petitioner receiving 37,117 votes according to Rashid Musinguzi, the Kayunga district returning officer.
However, the applicant through her lawyers of Pace Advocates claims that the voting and tallying process was characterized by several irregularities such as falsification of results that led to the declaration of wrong results in favour of the respondent.
The petitioner also accuses the electoral commission for being irregular and conducting elections in an unlawful manner. She raises several grounds for the high court to cancel victory awarded to Nantaba before ordering a by-election.
In the petition, the applicant indicates that the respondent declared withdrawing from the race on the elections day after police allegedly stopping 17 of her buses from entering the district with unknown people.
She also indicates that at some of the polling stations, her agents were forced to sign declaration forms before tallying and filling in of results. At the tally center, only the respondent was allowed to access the tent for commissioners and the rest of the candidates chased away by the military.
“…on 15th January 2021, when the returning officer initially pronounced the first respondent the winner, I rejected the results and he retracted his declaration and said he would call back the declaration forms to be analyzed and declare the winner on Monday,” the petitioner claims.
She adds that before Monday, “…the respondent came and met the returning officer and forced him to declare her as the winner in my absence.”
The applicant’s lawyer George Musisi says her client bases her petition mainly on malpractices that happened during the elections that were not in line with the law.
When Nantaba was contacted, she said she has not yet received the copy of the petition but once it is directed to her, her lawyers will be ready to handle it.