UPC Primaries Light Up Lira Town

1408 Views Lira, Uganda
Lira town is painted red, black and blue today as the Uganda People's Congress holds its primary elections there. The UPC polls opened at 11 a.m. throughout the municipality. George Okwir, the UPC elections coordinator in Lango sub-region, says polling materials were dispatched last night to ensure that voting began on time. Most local council and parliamentary posts in the region have attracted multiple candidates and are hotly contested affairs. However, in a few places single candidates were nominated and have already been announced UPC flag bearers. Jimmy Akena, the incumbent Lira Municipality MP, was elected unopposed to seek re-election for his seat. His sole rival in the UPC primaries, Moses Anyii, stepped down shortly before the elections. The incumbent Mayor of Lira, Peter Owiny, wasn't so lucky. He faces a tough race against Mike Ogwal Achonga, the former LC3 chairman of Ojwina division in Lira and relative newcomer, Veve Ogwang. Alex Oremo, the district council speaker is battling Paul Ogwal Olule, the former municipality town clerk for the district LC5 seat. Elsewhere, Joy Ongom, the LC5councilor for Lira Sub County is contesting against Helen Akidi, LC5 representative for Central division. The elections are taking place across the entire Lango sub-region except in Oyam South County where electoral petitions by incumbent Issa Otto and Betty Amongi has led to a postponement. Amongi is abandoning Apac women's parliamentary set to challenge Otto for the Oyam South MP seat. In the neighboring Acholi sub-region, UPC primaries are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Dan Odia, the UPC spokesperson in Gulu, says party members are not heeding to calls by their leader, Olara Otunnu, to boycott the elections. He says they only require that the 2011 elections are free and fair. //Cue in: "UPC is preparing ..." Cue out: "... we are not requesting."//