Byabakama to opposition: "If Omoro by-election was not free and fair go to court"

The Electoral Commission has refuted allegations of voter bribery and other electoral malpractices raised in the recently concluded by-elections in Omoro.

The opposition decried the manner in which their supporters were allegedly tortured and arrested during the by-elections, won by National Resistance Movement (NRM)candidate, Andrew Ojok.

However speaking to the media in Kampala, Simon Byabakama, the EC chairperson, insisted that having been on the ground in person, the by-election followed electoral guidelines and procedure.

Byabakama admitted he received a call from Mpuuga who told him that one of their members was arrested and immediately referred him to the assistant commissioner of police who was in charge.

"He confirmed to me that he [NUP member] was arrested because they found him conducting himself in the manner which was suspicious as far as electoral activities were concerned. I could not go into details," he said.

He said on election day, people were at liberty to move in the electoral area because there were no restrictions on movement.

Regarding voter bribery, Byabakama said the laws are very clear on the matter.

"The challenge we have in tackling this animal [voter bribery] is lack of willingness of the people to come forth and report these incidents to the relevant authorities because this is a recognisable offence under the electoral law. But you see like any law it can only bite or be effective when the process requiring it to be enforced is activated and this process requires you to go and report to police," he explained.

He said those with enough evidence are free to present them to the courts of law and once the courts are convinced, the results will be canceled.




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