Electoral Commission Simon Sinai says there will be no supplementary elections for Markham and Kabwum Open Electorates as alluded to by aggrieved candidates.
He said the decision to declare the leading candidates for Markham and Kabwum following the burning of ballot papers and destructions to the counting centres was done to protect future elections.
“It is tough decision but I had to take it in order to protect our electoral systems. We can not give into to criminal elements and surrender our authority to administer and run elections. These incidents in Markham and Kabwum are the first of its kind and I must put my feet down and make the call,” he said.
He said if he allows for a supplementary or a by election, it will set a bad precedent for elections in future where candidates who know they are not doing well in the primary count will mobilize their supporters and criminal elements to destroy the counting process with the intention to fail the elections.
“We don’t want to see this repeated in future. And we must put our feet down and sound a warning to all potential candidates and their supporters that if they are planning to sabotage in the future elections, wit all motives to secure a supplementary elections better drop it. It won’t work and this decision must be a deterrent to everyone throughout the country who try to derail and undermine the democratic process,” he said.
Mr Sinai was responding to a news article in the Post Courier where candidates from Markham and Kabwum have sought clarifications on the status of the elections in the two electorates.
The Commissioner says the destruction of ballot papers and counting centres in Markham and later in Kabwum were all pre planned and done to destroy the chances of the two seating MP’s who were leading with huge margins at the conclusion of the primary count.
“It would be unfair for the leading candidates to suffer at the hands of criminals and drag the Commission into conducting a by election which is a costly exercise,” he said.