The Uganda Electoral Commission should do better work than time and again having to preside over elections where vote re-counts are the order of the day. It is not healthy.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
Returning officer okays recount of Luweero Woman vote today
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By Dan Wandera & Betty Ndagire (email the author)
Posted Thursday, November 24 2011 at 00:00
The police last night beefed up security in Luweero and Wobulenzi towns ahead of today’s planned vote re-count of votes for the Luweero Woman MP by-election.
The exercise kicked off after the Electoral Commission accepted a request by NRM candidate Rebecca Nalwanga to conduct a vote recount, saying the winner, DP’s Brenda Nabukenya, did not win genuinely.
Ms Nalwanga in her application, contested the results declared on Tuesday morning by the district returning officer, Mr Peter Kasozi. The exercise will be conducted at Lukiiko Hall in Luweero District headquarters, starting at 9am.
The application was made in accordance with Section 54 of the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005, which provides for a mandatory recount if the number of votes of the winning candidate and any other is less by 50.
Ms Nabukenya was declared winner of the by-election, after beating Ms Nalwanga in the 340 polling stations, with FDC flag bearer Ziada Gwokyalya coming third, according to the official results released by the District returning officer, Mr Kasozi.
The district police commander, Mr Samuel Bamuzibire, yesterday told Daily Monitor that the heavy deployment of the police is in line with the security measures and intelligence briefing in cases where activities such as election violence erupts.
“We are supposed to secure these areas because we have learnt lessons from the past,” Mr Bamuzibire said. Sources said the security detail was ordered by the President who said the exercise is “sensitive”.
Mr Kasozi, who confirmed the planned vote recount, said the decision was within the law and that all concerned parties have been briefed on what is expected of them and the conditions under which the re-count can be accepted by the Electoral Commission.
“We are prepared for the re-count after consultations were made to ensure that whatever we do is within the law. We have also explained in writing to all the concerned parties on what is expected of them to ensure that we do not create confusion at the district tally centre as the vote re-count is conducted,” Mr Kasozi said.
The NRM party wants the 720 rejected votes scruitinised during the vote re-count. Ms Nabukenya(DP) whose victory is being contested was still in a consultative meeting with her lawyers and the DP party officials by press time.
One of the DP lawyers, Mr Samuel Muyizzi, yesterday said: “As DP, we have applied to the Electoral Commission Tribunal challenging the decision by the returning officer.”
He explained that legally when a returning officer declares and transmits results to EC, he does not have powers to order for a vote recount and that it is only the court that orders the recount.
Mr Muyizzi said the party yesterday went to court seeking an interim order stopping today’s recount but by press time, the application had not been heard.