By Richard Adrama
Arua- As the countdown to the L.C.1 elections gathers momentum, anxiety is high in Arua district about the electoral process in regard to the fate of aspiring candidates and who will scoop a temporary job with the Electoral Commission.
Michael Arinaitwe, the Arua district Assistant Registrar says that being an important exercise in a democratic dispensation, the Commission is striving to achieve optimum results.
“As part of our strategy, we want to make sure that all the advertised post in all the villages in the district is filled by legible applicants who are registered citizens,” Arinaitwe said.
According to Him, as part of the strategy, the commission is all out to ensure that all the four posts allocated per each of the 1,374 Villages of the 28 sub-counties are filled. The LC 1 election shall be conducted on Thursday November 23rd.
Alinaitwe explains that for each village, there will be a Polling officer who will oversee the electoral process from update of register, nomination of candidates till polling day and compilation of results.
The LC1 elections have severally been postponed for decades as it has been challenged in the courts of law on its legality. The elections were done when Uganda was under One party system.
By Thursday October 19, 2017, At least 26 Sub-counties of Arua district had submitted applications for recruitment for the various Election posts advertised by the District Electoral Commission.
The two remaining sub-counties of Omugo and Rigbo were due to submit theirs by Thursday.
Voters line up in Arua during the 2016 elections. All Photos by Felix
Alinaitwe meanwhile challenged voters and various aspiring candidates to prevail over their fears about the process of lining up behind candidates or future political repercussions as alleged by some politically biased individuals.
“The most important thing is to identify the suitable individual who will serve the community best. The quality of the person should be considered above party interests,” Alinaitwe said.
“Don’t look at individuals because he is for political party A or political parties B. Don’t accept to be influenced by those who want you to vote candidates o their choice or party. If the best Candidate is in party A candidate the right candidate is in Party B, vote that candidate,” he added.
Sometime back, the FDC party officials declared that they would not participate in the village Local Council elections citing the ruling NRM party’s plot to hi-jack votes at the grass level through manipulation of votes and intimidation of voters if they are to line behind candidates of their choices.
The party later in August 29th rescinded their decision in a pronouncement by the party spokesperson, Paul Mwiru while addressing the press at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi..
In his submission, Mwiru argued that the party saw it wise to participate after lengthy deliberations saying the system of lining up would help prevent ballot stuffing which said is a common practice in Uganda.