Lucy Achiro bounces back to parliament

Lucy Achiro Otim
Aruu North constituency, MP Elect Lucy Achiro Otim. Courtesy Photo.

Independent candidate Lucy Achiro Otim has been re-elected Member of Parliament for Aruu North constituency in Pader district.

Achiro bounced back to Parliament after defeating five other candidates in a by-election organized to fill the seat that fell vacant in a February 6th Supreme Court ruling.

The ruling upheld a decision of the High Court that nullified the election of Lucy Achiro Otim over non-compliance of electoral laws when the Electoral Commission (EC) failed to conduct a vote recount.

James Nabinson Kidega, the candidate for National Resistance Movement (NRM) party had petitioned court after losing the seat to Achiro with a two vote margin in February 2016 Parliamentary election. She polled 8,279 while Kidega garnered 8,277 votes.

But in the rerun held on Thursday, Achiro polled 16, 608 votes representing 64.36 percent while the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party candidate James Nabinson Kidega collected 8,450 votes, an equivalent of 32.75 percent.

Pader district Returning Officer  Joseph Omona declared Achiro winner of the hotly contested race at 10:48 pm in the presence of EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi and other commissioners.

The two front-runners were followed by Democratic Party (DP) candidate Bernard Ology Obina with distant 411, a percentage of 1.59 percent. Lucy Achiro Otim told the press that she was excited to come out of a very challenging process victorious.

Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) described the peaceful nature of the election as “a model for the rest of Uganda to learn from.”

Justice Byabakama said residents unanimously told him in chorus that there was absolutely no problem with the process in most polling stations he visited.

26,719 of the 48,492 registered voters participated in the election in 95 polling stations. Some 915 votes were declared invalid while 33 were spoilt.