Some candidates in the Kotido municipality Member of Parliament race have raised concern over the conduct of polling officials recruited to man today’s polls.
During the last briefing held on Thursday evening between the Electoral Commission (EC) and candidates, the contention was raised against two presiding officers, policemen, Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and DISO who were faulted for being biased in the execution of their duties.
Henry Kubal, an independent mayoral candidate, put the police on the spotlight for siding with candidates aligned to the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party. He asked the force to remove IP Joseph Angolere and ASP Patrick Odur from any polling activity.
Jean Mark Aporu, also an independent candidate in the parliamentary race, asked for the removal of both the RDC David Modo and DISO Godfrey Wachara from monitoring the polls.
Aporu says that the officers have been intimidating voters using their positions adding that all the security organs have been unfair to none NRM-candidates.
The NRM’s flag bearer for the parliamentary seat Peter Abrahams Lokii asked the EC to remove two presiding officers Patrick James Obonyo and Isaac Locham for allegedly supporting some of the candidates in the race. Lokii said that the officers had hatched a plan to deny some people a right to vote in their polling stations.
Kotido District Returning Officer Stella Koryang Modo said all the concerns have been taken care of but noted that the removal of officers from the polling activities was impossible. She, however, added that some of the presiding officers have been removed following their conduct in the local council polls on Tuesday.
The District Police Commander Alfonse Ojangole and the RDC Modo denied allegations of siding with the NRM candidates.
Peter James Emorut, the EC Commissioner overseeing elections in Kotido Municipality said it is difficult to disengage security heads from polling activities since they are part of the key stakeholders.
Three candidates will be battling the MP seat in Kotido Municipality after the PPP candidate; Emmanuel Keem Napuso quit the race. They include seasoned politician and former Jie MP, Peter Abrahams Lokii (NRM), FDC’s Moses Oriono Okot and independent, Jean Mark Aporu.
In the mayoral race, NRM’s Ismael Muhamad Lomwar is battling with, FDC’s Calistas Adome Lokwi, PPP’s Daniel Abual Kapel and an Independent, Henry Kubal. Kotido is among the seven municipalities operationalized in 2016 and 2017 that will be going for polls.