The by-election of Member of Parliament for Soroti East Constituency, in Soroti City, is an interesting race, and by far promises to be highly contested since the national elections of 2021.
And in all this, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the opposition political party, must be the most aggrieved.
The two leading candidates Moses Okia Attan and Herbert Edmund Ariko are products of FDC – they are now foes after Ariko crossed to the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement, in 2016.
A former MP representing Soroti Municipality (before Soroti became a city), Ariko, joined NRM in May 2021, shortly after losing to FDC’s Attan in the 2021 general elections. Ariko contested Attan’s victory and went to court resulting in this by-election after the court nullified Attan’s victory.
Now, the political swords have been drawn and each party is ready to rumble. Political pundits say winning Soroti East constituency is a big score for whoever emerges victorious.
To ensure they don’t lose again, NRM has dispatched weighty manpower from the party’s secretariat to beef up whatever workforce Ariko has on the ground.
The party’s Director for Mobilisation, Hon Rosemary Nansubuga Seninde, health minister Jane Ruth Aceng, state minister for Economic Monitoring Peter Ogwang and the party’s Vice Chairperson for Eastern Region Flight Captain Hon. Mike Mukula has camped in Soroti laying the ground for the expected heated campaigns.
“We’re consulting the local community to understand the key issues that will pertain to the by-election and the strategies of which we members of NRM will come out victorious,” Ariko, who has been traversing villages, and conducting meetings, said.
Health minister Ruth Aceng called on the people of Soroti City to choose leaders that will monitor and follow up on government projects and services to ensure proper service delivery to the intended beneficiaries.
While it is not readily known which candidates will be on the ballot papers because nominatins have only commenced today, National Unity Platform (NUP) has indicated it will back FDC’s Attan – so NRM will not only be taking on FDC in Attan but also NUP.