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'Swallow bitter pill, learn lessons from court ruling'

By Betty Amamukirori

Added 1st April 2016 11:36 AM

Crispy Kaheru said that Ugandans should submerge their individual and partisan preferences

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CCEDU director Crispy Kaheru talks to the media at the Supreme Court after the ruling. Photo by Eddie Ssejjoba

Crispy Kaheru said that Ugandans should submerge their individual and partisan preferences

Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), has said that Uganda as a country must take the hard lessons brought forth by the poll petition seriously and learn to approach all future elections with the 2016 experience very firmly in mind.

Today, the Supreme Court dismissed the former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi's poll petition challenging the re-election of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and upheld the results of the polls.

The petition was dismissed for lack of substantial evidence to prove that Museveni committed several of the electoral offenses he was accused of and that there was noncompliance with the electoral laws by the Electoral Commission.

In his statement released shortly after the verdict, Crispy Kaheru the Director CCEDU, said that Ugandans should submerge their individual and partisan preferences to the common good.

"We must demonstrate clearly that it is not the ambitions of Amama Mbabazi or Kiiza Besigye; neither is it the fortunes of Museveni that we are seeking to promote. The stability and progress of Uganda should be the paramount consideration that guides our every action in these post-election difficult days," he said.

 

He said that based on the revelations that merged from court during the hearing of the petition; there is need for an improvement in the electoral process as a whole.

"the strength of any democracy is determined by the credibility of its electoral process and it is in everybody's interest that we all develop an instinctive respect for the rules and regulations set out for our elections. Never again should anybody feel tempted to tamper with any aspect of the voting process," he said.

Kaheru said that people must work to ensure that there should not be any lingering questions about the legitimacy of an election and the winning candidate at the end of the process should receive the absolute support of all.

He urged Ugandans to come together irrespective of their political affiliations, to demand peacefully, the best for the country.

He pointed out that people should look at this as a turning point in the democratic struggles of the country.

"To some, this date may have brought a painful and difficult end to the 2016 elections. To others, it may be a watershed that beckons a new beginning. No matter what side of the divide one may be, we must unite and applaud ourselves for the (legal) way we chose to deal with our victory and our disappointments," he stated.

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