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EC opposes requests to halt presidential elections

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th February 2011 03:00 AM

THE Government and the Electoral Commission have opposed the application by two opposition politicians to post-pone the presidential elections until their grievances are addressed.

By Anne Mugisa

THE Government and the Electoral Commission have opposed the application by two opposition politicians to post-pone the presidential elections until their grievances are addressed.

The Attorney General and EC lawyers told court that the opposition politicians were only trying to frustrate Ugandans’ right to vote for selfish reasons.

They said the applicants also wanted to create a constitutional crisis, which would arise if the elections were delayed and the leaders’ terms expire, leaving a vacuum.

The application for a temporary injunction filed to the Constitutional Court by Joseph Bossa (UPC) and Dan Mugarura (FDC) was heard yesterday.

Bbosa and Mugarura’s lawyer, Peter Walubiri, presented a number of complains, which included the arrangement of the presidential candidates on the ballot paper, lack of photographs for some voters on the register and Museveni’s promises to the electorate, including creation of new districts.

“This is bribery of the voters and it needs to be investigated,’ Walubiri said.

Other complaints were recruitment of civilian crime preventers and the partiality of the commission.

Walubiri also said the voters’ register was bloated and the sitting arrangement at the polling stations was likely to aid rigging.

Walubiri also alleged that sh602b under the supplementary budget was diverted to fund the NRM campaigns.

He explained that part of the money was given to MPs, each getting sh20m to supposedly supervise the NAADS programme, while sh150,000 was given to each of the NRM executive committees.

He complained that the elections would not be free and fair and therefore should be postponed until these issues were resolved.

Both Oluka and Kandeebe contended that none of the complaints constituted an issue for constitutional interpretation.

Oluka said the presidential terms, those for MPs and other political leaders were coming to an end, and that the Constitution showed how and the election period should be conducted.

He said tampering with the process would create a constitutional crisis.

“The applicants should not be allowed to use the courts to curtail the power and sovereignty of the people of Uganda,” Oluka said.

He added that people should be allowed to vote.

Oluka asked the court to dismiss Bbosa and Mugarura’s application, saying it was speculative and was not enough to stop Ugandans from having an election.

Kandeebe said the applicants ignored the process through which their complaint should have been addressed.

He explained that the law clearly said they should complain to the EC, and if they are not satisfied with its action, appeal to the High Court, whose decision should be final.


EC opposes requests to halt presidential elections

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