Independent candidate Kassiano Wadri Ezati has taken an early lead as vote counting continues in Arua Municipality. Wadri is scoring way above his main challenger, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party candidate Nusura Tiperu, according to preliminary results from selected polling stations.
Preliminary reports also indicate that Wadri, the former Member of Parliament for Terego County, has beaten the other eleven candidates in 31 Mvara Ward polling stations, at Niva Cell polling stations, Awindiri, Junior quarters and at River Oli headquarters polling station and three Bazaar Ward polling stations situated in the centre of Arua town.
At Arua secondary school Oyoze cell polling station, Wadri, obtained 186-votes against Nusura Tiperu and Ejiku Robert who tied at 23 votes, while Madira Kennedy, Nyero Francis, Nyakuni Alfred and Avutia Simon obtained zero votes each.
At police ground polling station Wadri polled 107 votes against Robert Ejiku’s 50 and Tiperu’s 41 votes. Wadri Kassiano led the rest of the candidates by 92 votes from Arua Hill Primary school polling station, Nusura Tiperu followed closely with 80 votes.
At Golf Club, Wadri polled 110 votes against 43 votes by Nusura Tiperu, he polled at central Market -B, against Tiperu’s 50 votes and 201 votes at Central Market-A against Tiperu’s 45.
According to some of the voters, the lead Wadri Kassiano is enjoying is a result of a protest vote by the people of Arua Municipality following his arbitrary arrest and detention since Monday. According to reports, Wadri Kassiano is still in detention in Gulu town.
Vote counting is still underway in several polling stations especially in River Oli division where the ‘determining’ votes are obtained from.
Meanwhile, police have intensified deployment in identified black spots to avoid chaotic scenes after the elections. Many shops and businesses also closed as early as 4pm today as mini celebrations are beginning to take course among supporters of Wadri Kassiano.
The victor in today’s poll will replace the late Ibrahim Abiriga, who was gunned down in June, from Kawanda, in Wakiso District. Abiriga was killed together with his bodyguard Saidi Buga Kongo.