Leading opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) have announced that they will not be fielding any candidate in the coming Soroti East parliamentary by-election.
Instead, the party says, they will be throwing their weight behind the FDC candidate Hon Moses Attan Okia, who is also the incumbent.
David Lewis Rubongoya, the NUP Secretary General told press this Thursday morning that they made this decision in the “interest of the unity of the forces of change”
“We just held meetings with our leaders in Soroti and several of them who are here today, had expressed interest in the race. But we decided that in the interest of unity, we back down and support the FDC candidate” he said.
“This is what we have been saying that we are not just interested in political seats but unseating the dictator. We are showing the country that we don’t just talk about unity in words but also in practice.”
The FDC candidate, Moses Attan was ejected from parliament by the Court of Appeal on May 2nd over irregularities in last year’s election.
Soroti City East Member of Parliament, Moses Attan Okia
The judgment stemmed from an appeal by a voter challenging the annexation and transfer of Opiyai and Aloet wards from Soroti East to Soroti West after the nomination of the candidates, which disfranchised and denied over 4,560 voters the right to exercise their constitutional right to vote for the leader of their choice.
On Tuesday, 31 August 2021, the High Court in Mbale had ordered fresh parliamentary elections in Soroti City East Division after nullifying the election of Attan.
High Court Judge Anne Mugenyi said there was disenfranchisement of voters in Opiyai and Aloet awards in the division.
During the January 14 election, the two awards were removed from Soroti City East Division and asked to vote in another constituency.
According to Justice Mugenyi, the move was not in compliance with the electoral laws.
Herbert Edmund Ariko (Independent), who was challenging the election of Attan, had told court that the removal of Aloet and Opiyai wards from Soroti city East affected him because they were his strongholds.
Last month, the Electoral Commission issued a road map for the Soroti East MP by-elections on Monday.
According to the roadmap, the nomination of candidates will take place on July 18th and 19th followed by campaigns between July 21st and 26 while polling will take place on July 28th, 2022.