Funyula Member of Parliament, Paul Otuoma, on Friday, March 14, said he will not take part in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) repeat primaries in Busia County after the party nullified results of an earlier exercise that was marred by widespread irregularities.
The legislator says he should be declared the victor directly because his main rival, Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, who was earlier announced the winner, rigged the poll.
The final results showed Ojaamong had received 92,352 votes compared to Otuoma who scored, 63,752 despite that latter taking an early lead. Vter rigging claims as well as harassment and intimidation characterised the exercise.
Among the tricks used to influence the results was inflating of voter figures in Ojaamong’s strongholds of Teso North and South, where the number of those who voted was higher than those who had registered with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Not only that, but the announcement of votes in one candidate’s strongholds was delayed, raising suspicion. It is also reported that violence was used to instill fear in voters.
Following Busia’s flawed exercise, the Orange party’s National Elections Board chairperson Judy Pareno of Friday, said the party had nullified the results because major irregularities had been noted.
“The board has been scrutinising them with the aim of making the final announcement as required by the party constitution,” a statement by Pareno said.
She directed that a repeat exercise for the Governor race be held on April 25 even as the board upheld results for other seats.
The board announced their decision minutes after the Busia elections board chair Vitalis Juma declared Ojaamong the winner at the Agricultural Training Centres in Busia.