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Court of Appeal tosses out Alaso's election petition

By Edward Anyoli

Added 11th February 2017 10:31 AM

She petitioned the High Court in Soroti claiming that there was wide vote-buying, rampant bribery, and that there were excess unused ballot papers

Court of Appeal tosses out Alaso's election petition

She petitioned the High Court in Soroti claiming that there was wide vote-buying, rampant bribery, and that there were excess unused ballot papers

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) former Secretary General, Alice Alaso has lost an election petition against the Serere Woman Member of Parliament.

Court of Appeal Justices; Steven Kavuma, Cheborion Barishaki and Paul Mugamba upheld the election of Hellen Adoa and Alaso was also ordered to pay costs to Adoa.

The Justices declared that Adoa was duly elected by the people of Serere to represent them. The Court of Appeal decision is final; Alaso cannot appeal to the Supreme Court.

The three judges unanimously declined to accept that there was malpractice during the election saying there was no evidence to cancel the election.

Lawyers Kiwanuka Kiryowa and Elton Mugabi from Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates argued that the High Court in Soroti was wrong to cancel the election.

Kiryowa  argued  that  the finding of Justice  David  Wangutusi was erroneous  because  the  declaration of result  form is not  an electoral document which  can assist the court  in finding the number of ballot papers.

Kiryowa further submitted that there was no evidence to prove that there were excess ballot papers.

Richard Latigo the lawyer who presented the Electoral Commission also asked court to reinstate Adoa as dully elected

The Justices agreed with Kiryowa and Latigo that the Justice  Wangutusi misdirected himself and erred when he found that  Cephas Muhwana's evidence was unchallenged over bribery allegation.

Court also ruled that  there was no evidence  to substantiate  the claims that by Adoa emblazoning the ambulance donated to  Serere influenced the voters to vote for her.

"We have perused the record of appeal and found no evidence from any witness to show that they voted for the first appellant (Adoa) after reading the words on the ambulance or seeing the photographs of the same in the Etop Newspaper.

We are therefore of the considered view that the trial judge's findings were a result of conjecture and speculation," the justices said.

The justices noted that Alaso failed to prove to court that electoral malpractices were of such a big magnitude that they substantially and materially affected the outcome of the electoral process.

"In the, result the appeal succeeds. The orders of the lower court nullifying the election of the first appellant (Adoa), ordering second appellant to hold a fresh elections and granting a certificate of two counsel are set aside,"

Alaso, petitioned the High Court in Soroti claiming that there was wide vote-buying, rampant bribery, and that there were excess unused ballot papers. Court dismissed the claims as untrue.

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