The Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party president Patrick Oboi Amuriat has described the Busongora South parliamentary by-election as a sham and a total failure of democratic practices in Uganda. Amuriat says that the party’s top leadership will soon convene a meeting to discuss if they should continue participating in future electoral process or not.
The party is also considering not to challenge the results of Thursday’s by-elections because they do not think they can get justice in the court system. On Thursday, the Kasese district returning officer, Ismail Atwijukire Takih declared Gideon Mujungu of the National Resistance Movement-NRM as the winner of the by-election.
He polled 12,088 votes to defeat his closest rival Jackson Mbaju of the National Unity Platform who garnered 6,866 votes. The Forum for Democratic Change-FDC candidate Aloysius Kighema Baguma came third with 5,564 votes, Benadet Businge of the Democratic Party-DP managed 84 votes, independent candidate David Mulindwa Isimwa garnered 2,093 votes while Doreen Izaagire polled 32 votes.
Amuriat questioned the validity of election results, citing irregularities which altered the would-be viable results, and insisted that what transpired in Busongora by-election was not an election but rather a military operation.
He noted that the by-election was characterized by brutal arrest of the FDC candidate, malpractices, and voter bribery among others, which made the opposition think it is a waste of time to participate in future elections.
Amuriat said the party is not willing to take legal action because they don’t have any hope that the future electoral process can be better.
The FDC president says that even if the opposition had combined its forces, the current government would have still won the election. He said its time that all the force of opposition think of having alternatives on how they can dislodge the current government through other means other than elections.
Robert Centenary, the FDC mobiliser said the Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama and his commissioners cannot be excluded in the whole “illegal” process because they failed to respond to concerns that were raised during the voting.
The Kasese FDC chairperson Saulo Maate said that they have overwhelming evidence of vote bribery but mentioned that this was a learning lesson that the current government cannot allow a free and fair election.
He therefore thinks opposition must find other alternatives to power other than being hoodwinked to take part in election that is already pre-determined.
Ismail Atwijukire Takih has not yet commented on the accusations leveled against the commission by the opposition leaders.