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Nebbi byelection registers low voter turnout

By Benedict Okethwengu

Added 11th July 2019 01:19 PM

A total of 121,856 voters are expected to participate in today's poll, but the voter turnout at polling stations has remained very low.

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A total of 121,856 voters are expected to participate in today's poll, but the voter turnout at polling stations has remained very low.

A voter at Mayors' Garden polling station. Photo by Benedict Okethwengu

Low voter turnout has dampened the excitement that had surrounded the Nebbi byelection.

A total of 121,856 voters are expected to participate in today's poll, but the voter turnout at polling stations has remained very low. 

Voting is being conducted in the 16 sub-counties of the district 

At Nebbi Public Primary School polling station, only six out of the 534 registered voters had turned up by 8:26 am.

Many voters were seen working in their gardens, while others went on as usual with their private businesses in Nebbi town. 

In Nebbi Municipality, most polling stations remained deserted despite the fact that one of the candidates FDC's Vicky Onyai hails from the area. 

Agnes Akumu, one of the voters at Nyacara Primary School polling station, admitted that the voter turnout was still low.  There, were, however, no cases of missing names on the registration forms at some polling centers.  

“I came here early, but we could not start because the five voters needed were not there,” Akumu said.

By 7:30am voting had not started at Nebbi Public Primary School playground.

“We cannot start now, we need about five voters to witness as we start,” said Denis Ovonji, the presiding officer.

Henry Muguzi, one of the accredited observers, says no major incident has been reported except the low voter turnout. 

“Everything is so far good, and we hope it will be fine, except we see the turn-up is low,’ He said. 

Michael Arinaitwe, the district registrar said by 4:00am all the polling materials had been dispatched to the various polling stations.

 

Onyai, the FDC candidate, cast his vote at Nebbi Progressive Secondary School at about 8:35am.  

He said he was optimistic he would sail through although he expressed concern about voter bribery. 

“I have done my part, but I think I may go through, the only challenge is that people were bribed,” he said. 

The Nebbi seat became vacant, following the demise of Esrom William Alenyo, who died in September last year. 

Three candidates are vying for the seat; they include NRM’s Emmanuel Orombi , FDC’s Onyai and George Othuba, an independent candidate.

 

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