The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party President Amuriat Patrick, former Kasese MP Robert Centenary and Omerou Paul the Mayor Soroti East Division have been arrested ahead of the by-election for Soroti East Constituency.
According to Soroti city Woman, Anna Adeke, the group was arrested from her home in Akisim.
“Police in Soroti have broken into my house in Akisim. They have beaten; pepper sprayed and arrested all my people. They started this at 11.30 pm until 00:51 Am,” she tweeted.
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Police in Soroti have broken into my house in Akisim. They have beaten, pepper sprayed and arrested all my people. They started this at 11.30 pm until 00.51am. Below is a footage of the same. The criminals in police uniform have taken my people @PatrickAmuriat pic.twitter.com/MLSWN5eWM5
— Adeke Anna Ebaju (@AdekeAnna) July 28, 2022
The election exercise kicked off earlier today at all the 63 polling stations despite the arrests of opposition bigwigs.
Yesterday, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama appealed to candidates, their agents and supporters to conduct themselves in accordance with the Law, and the guidelines issued by the Commission for these by-elections.
“The Electoral Commission has established a Complaints Desk at the Main Hall, Soroti University, Soroti, for purposes of receiving and handling any complaints that may arise during the Soroti East By-Election. The Complaints Desk will operate on polling day, from 7am up to 4pm,” he said.
The EC encouraged each political party or independent candidates to appoint an official agent to sit with the (Commission) officials at this desk, to ease handling of any query and or complaint that may arise.
A total of 36,442 registered voters are expected to participate in the election process at the 63 polling stations in the Constituency.
The by-election follows the nullification of the election of Attan Moses on grounds that the Electoral Commission failed to conduct free and fair elections. Following his election, a voter petitioned court challenging the annexation and transfer of Opiyai and Aloet wards from Soroti East to Soroti West after the nomination of the candidates.
The voter contended that the annexation led to disenfranchising of over 4,560 voters the right to vote for the leader of their choice.
On May 24th, 2022, the Court of Appeal ruled that at the time of voter verification, the people of Opiyai and Aloet wards were verified and confirmed to fall under Soroti East thus the sudden change left voters at a loss and confused as to where they belong and whom to vote for as they were presented with ballot papers of strange candidates than the ones they expected to see and were known to them.