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EALA nominations kick off, Opposition boycott

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st May 2012 01:45 PM

Nomination of candidates to the East African Legislative Assembly started Monday as five opposition parties in Parliament resolve to boycott the polls until their petition is heard

EALA nominations kick off, Opposition boycott

Nomination of candidates to the East African Legislative Assembly started Monday as five opposition parties in Parliament resolve to boycott the polls until their petition is heard

By Moses Walubiri and Henry Ssenjako

Over 20 people have shown interest to compete for the six slots NRM insists should send to EALA. All the six incumbent NRM representatives also want to retain their seats. 

Nomination of candidates to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) started Monday as five opposition parties in Parliament resolve to boycott the polls until their petition before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) is heard.

The nomination process will last until Tuesday, with elections set for May 30.

The five opposition parties are the Forum for Democratic Change, Democratic Party, Uganda People’s Congress, JEEMA and Conservative Party.

They are challenging the formula used in electing MPs to the EALA, which the ruling NRM argues should be based on numerical strength.

NRM wants six of the nine seats. This leaves only three seats for FDC, UPC, DP, JEEMA and CP.

The opposition argues that this is contrary to a recent East African Court ruling that all parties in Parliament be represented in EALA as spelt out under Article 50 of the treaty for the creation of the East African Community.

Opposition leader Nadala Mafabi said: “We cannot participate in these elections until we agree on how they will be held. We will not be bulldozed because this is about law, not numbers.”

 

10.00am - Nomination of candidates to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) start today as five opposition parties in Parliament resolve to boycott the polls until their petition before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) is heard.

The nomination process will last until tomorrow (Tuesday) with elections set for May 30.

The five opposition parties are the Forum for Democratic Change, Democratic Party, Uganda People’s Congress, JEEMA and Conservative Party.

They are challenging the formula for electing MPs to the EALA, which the ruling NRM argues should be based on numerical strength.

NRM wants six of the nine seats. This leaves only three seats for FDC, UPC, DP, JEEMA and CP.

The opposition argues that this is contrary to a recent East African Court ruling that all parties in Parliament be represented in EALA as spelt out under Article 50 of the treaty for the creation of the East African Community.

Opposition leader Nadala Mafabi yesterday said: “We cannot participate in these elections until we agree on how they will be held. We will not be bulldozed because this is about law, not numbers.”

UPC’s whip in Parliament, Betty Amongi, said their candidates to EALA will have to wait until the petition is heard.

Ken Lukyamuzi (CP) and Mukasa Mbidde (DP) said the two parties had told their candidates not to pick nomination forms.

The opposition parties are planning to file a petition today in Arusha, following a vote in the House last Friday, which rejected a proposal by the opposition that all parties and independents in the House be represented in the EALA.

A team of lawyers led by shadow attorney general Abdu Katuntu, Medard Sseggona (Busiro East), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Odonga Otto (Aruu county), Dan Wandera Ogalo and Mukasa Mbidde have drawn up a petition to challenge the EALA elections in Uganda.

Meanwhile, the appellate division of the EACJ on Saturday declined to rule on whether EALA members can serve more than two terms.

Some MPs who have already served for two terms at EALA sought an interpretation of Article 51 (1) of the treaty which reads: “Subject to this Article, an elected member of the assembly shall hold office for five years and be eligible for re-election for a further term of five years.”

The court dismissed the petition, saying it “lacked any underlying factual situation capable of giving rise to any dispute”. The EAC officials said the ruling means that the EALA members can only serve for two terms

EALA nominations kick off, Opposition boycott

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