Candidates vying for the Parliamentary seat in Omoro County kicked off campaigns on Monday ahead of the by-election slated for May 26. 

Six candidates are in the race to fill the Parliamentary seat that fell vacant after the death of the former legislator and Speaker of Parliament Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah who was also the MP for Omoro county.

The candidates are Simon Toolit Akecha for the National Unity Platform (NUP)Justine Odong Obiya from the  Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, a candidate for the National Resistance Movement (NRM )party. Also in the race is Oscar Kizza from the Alliance for National Transformation(ANT ) and independent candidates Jimmy Walter Onen and Terrence Odonga.

However, NUP accuses NRM on of interfering with its candidate’s campaign. The candidate Simon Toolit Akecha held two rallies in Lakwaya Sub-county. But, he says, all the venues that were pre-booked for his campaign rallies were occupied by locals dressed in NRM t-shirts and holding his rival’s campaign posters. 

He noted that the move was against the harmonization of the campaign schedule as agreed on during a meeting held at the Electoral commission offices over the weekend. During the meeting, all contenders were barred from interfering with their rival’s campaign venues.

Similarly,  Dr Lina Zedriga, the NUP Deputy President for Northern Uganda reiterated that their campaign venues are being deliberately occupied by the rivals from NRM to disorganize their campaigns.

She also notes that the police have been trailing their candidate and members on the campaign trail since his nomination last week.

But Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson David Ongom Mudong refuted claims that the police are trailing the NUP candidate and scaring their supporters arguing that they are instead assessing the ground for security reasons. Mudong says they have visited all the rallies in the area and said that the allegation should be treated as baseless.

Omoro District NRM Chairperson Denis Kidega equally rubbished the allegation that they are interfering with the NUP campaign venues arguing that their candidate only showed up in two sub-counties of Odek and Lalogi. 

Nevertheless, Simon Toolit, the former FDC stalwart notes that he will report the matter to the Electoral Commission before proceeding with his other campaigns. Akecha in his campaign, message to the locals pledged to improve the state of roads, health and education centres in the district.

Meanwhile, the NRM candidate Ojok Oulanyah kicked off his campaigns in Palaro village, Odek Sub-county from where he pledged to lobby for the improvement of the road and health sectors. He, however, noted that he will conduct a door-to-door campaign approach to reach out to the locals in opposition strongholds since the majority of them are currently busy carrying farm work.

The FDC flag bearer Justine Odong Obiya on the other hand who held a campaign rally in Akidi Sub-county on Monday afternoon promised to represent the voice of the common people of Omoro instead of representing the state. He also emphasized that his manifesto focuses on improving the state of Omoro roads that were never worked on by the past leadership.

The campaigns are expected to last for eight days up to May 24.  

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