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FDC recovers 10 ballot boxes from saloon

Forum for Democratic Change officials in Gulu district yesterday recovered and handed over ten ballot boxes to police found hidden in a saloon.

According to the FDC party officials, they recovered the ballot boxes from Acet trading centre in Odek Sub County in Omoro County.

3 of the ballot boxes were sealed and contained ticked ballot papers, the remaining seven were empty. Deo Wilobo, an FDC agent, says they recovered the ballot boxes following a tip off from a resident who informed them that someone was hiding election materials in his saloon.

“For us we got a call yesterday at around 9pm that there is a ballot box there, we struggled to get a vehicle to [get] there. In the morning, I asked like from four people, there was no answer. So I get a young girl and I ask and she told me ‘there is a box inside that saloon and very many buckets’ I asked which type?, she said the ‘white one’. I sat down a little bit and saw the guy open the saloon and I saw the buckets. I asked why did you put those things here”, Wilobo said.

Some of the recovered ballot boxes

Denis Nono, another FDC agent blames the Acet parish election supervisor of taking the ballot boxes to the saloon instead of sending them to the tally center for tallying. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu District LC V chairperson, says the recovered ballots may have not been tallied.

“This is something that can be sorted out as long as the Electoral Commission is willing to make sure the details here can be verified, we need those ballot boxes. Number one question, do they have ballot papers in the boxes they returned?..Now we want to know whether there are ballot papers in the returned ballot boxes. We want to know where they found [them] and why did they leave these ones behind. So our suspicion is that there could have been swapping so we are not sure whether the results they gave are correct. I’m disappointed that the Electoral Commission has become part of the problem. It is my first time to hear the Electoral Commission announce results without giving the figures.
On Friday, Electoral Commission officials in Gulu came under fire from candidates for declaring winners without announcing the polls results. They EC and Police were also tasked to explain circumstances under, which 23 ballot boxes were tempered with as their seals were broken.
Odonga Otto, the Aruu county MP, says have they have tasked the Commission to produce the declaration forms 9 polling stations, which they believe were used for rigging.

The contested polling stations include Lagwedola, Lalogi headquarters A-A, B-Z,Mmin jaa p7, Tee cwa , Loyoajwanga A-A, Adobo p7, Corner lakoya, Aawali wang tangi.  Omoro County is represented by Jacob Oulanya, the Deputy speaker of parliament. Oulanyah was declared winner of the Omoro MP seat but no election result figures were announced.

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