The Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party has announced the withdrawal of its candidate, Sam Oita Odeke, from the Bukedea LCV chairperson’s race. The FDC party President, Patrick Amuriat Oboi, expresses concern about the lack of integrity and legitimacy in the electoral process, stating that they cannot lend legitimacy to a race tainted by fraudulent practices.
In a press statement, Amuriat highlighted the electoral fraud allegations, including ballot stuffing, intimidation, and violence, which marred the Bukedea by-election. “This by-election can only be characterized as yet another sham, devoid of transparency and legitimacy. We firmly refuse to participate in a process that lacks integrity and does not represent the will of the people of Bukedea,” Amuriat’s statement reads in part.
He added “As FDC, we unequivocally condemn the use of Police and the military in propagating these malpractices. We further condemn the intimidation, torture, and imprisonment of members of the media in their line of duty while covering this election.”
The party now intends to focus on determining the appropriate course of action in light of these events. The Bukedea by-election has been marked by incidents of violence, even targeting members of the media. Two journalists, Eddy Enuru of NBS Television and George Emuron of Mama Bukedea FM, were assaulted, and their equipment was confiscated by unidentified individuals.
The East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman, Oscar Ageca says that they are investigating the two incidents involving the two journalists. Dr. Tanga Odoi, the NRM Party Electoral Commission Chairperson also condemned the assault on the media. Accusations of violence have been directed at the ruling party, but investigations are ongoing to ascertain responsibility.
With the withdrawal of the FDC candidate, the race for Bukedea LCV chairperson now involves two candidates Mary Akol from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and Tychicus Lokwiisk Ebukalim, an Independent candidate leaning towards NRM. Bukedea district has 100,294 registered voters distributed across 180 polling stations in 16 sub-counties and town councils. The by-election was necessitated by the passing of Moses Olemukan in December 2022 due to liver complications.