Former West Budama North Constituency MP William Oketcho is free to contest in the next Parliamentary elections, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The court also ruled that the failure to vacate one’s seat in Parliament is no basis for declaring nomination of an offending Member of Parliament invalid under the Constitution.
The court further said that the factors which could invalidate a nomination for a Parliamentary seat are set out in the Parliamentary Elections Act.
This followed a constitutional appeal by the Attorney General opposing the judgment of the Constitutional Court in which it had invalidated Oketcho’s nomination for election to the 9th Parliament on the ground that he had not vacated his seat in Parliament before offering himself for elections as a flag bearer of the NRM party.
The Constitutional Court’s ruling prompted the AG to appeal to the Supreme Court saying that the lower court had made a mistake when reading into the Article 83(1)(g)(h).
The court agreed with Principal State attorney that Oketcho had the right of association guaranteed under the Constitution.
He also had freedom to stand for elective positions as an independent or on the ticket of a political party of his choice.
“There was no justification at all for the Constitutional Court to read into the above mentioned article the words that nomination of the offending MP for election to the 9th Parliament was invalid, Justice Galdino Magellan Okello who wrote lead judgment said.
The other members of the panel were Justices Bart Magunda Katureebe (chair), Christine Nakaseeta Kitumba, Jotham Tumwesigye, Dr Esther Kisaakye Kitimbo and Benjamin Odoki.
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Former MP Oketcho free to contest in the next polls - Court