7 March 2011

Uganda: Court Throws Out Vote Recount Petitions by Eriyo, Eruaga

Adjumani/ Moyo — The chief magistrate court in Adjumani has dismissed a petition for a vote recount filed by incumbent MP for East Moyo Santos Piro Eruaga.

In a judgment on Saturday, Chief Magistrate Mohammad Kasaija said the "hand of the applicant was not clean so the case cannot waste court's time". The dismissal means Lt. Gen. Moses Ali remains the MP-elect for the constituency.

Mr Kasaija said declaration forms presented by Mr Eruaga as evidence for rigging, were not signed and are not original copies. "There were lies in documents which were presented by the applicant. It has rendered them inadmissible in this court," Mr Kasaija said. "This case has been dismissed with a cost to the respondent." However, Mr Eruaga's lawyer, Gabriel Barigo, said the magistrate should withdraw the cost, adding that he will appeal.

Speaking after the court session Moses Ali said: "I feel satisfied that justice has finally been done." The poll results show that Draga Gasper (Ind) got 334 votes, Moses Ali (NRM) polled 15,750, Santos Eruaga (Ind) got 15,476 and Sunday Mawadri (FDC) got 3,011 votes.

Meanwhile, the same court also threw out an application filed by the State Minister for Environment, Ms Jessica Eriyo, to have votes for Adjumani Woman parliamentary seat recounted. Mr Kasaija said court could not grant a recount because the Electoral Commission had already gazetted her opponent Jessica Ababiku (Ind) as MP.

In a February 25 application, Ms Eriyo claimed that some of her valid votes were counted as invalid and that her polling agents were not allowed to monitor declaration forms.

According to the declared results, Ms Ababiku polled 17,017 votes, Ms Eriyo'14,033. Hellen Acan (FDC) got 1,145 and Josephine Mamawi (Ind) obtained 752 votes.

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