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NRM's Etuuka loses Upper Madi seat

By Barbra Kabahumuza

Added 13th April 2017 04:43 PM

Court also faulted the Electoral Commision for failing to comply with electoral laws by re-nominating him NRM flagbearer

Court also faulted the Electoral Commision for failing to comply with electoral laws by re-nominating him NRM flagbearer

The Court of Appeal has nullified the election of NRM's Isaac Joackino Etuuka as the Upper Madi MP, ruling that he was wrongly nominated by the Electoral Commission (EC) and included on the ballot paper.

On Thursday, a panel of justices Remmy Kasule, Richard Buteera and Alfonse Owiny Dollo, consequently ordered EC to conduct fresh elections and fill the vacant position.

The panel overturned the Arua High Court decision of Justice John Eudes Keitirima, who had upheld the election of Etuuka. 

The Appeal Court re-evaluated the evidence on record and found that Etuuka's nomination as the NRM flagbearer was cancelled on the eve of the February 18, 2016 general elections by virtue of a court order obtained by his competitor Martin Drito.

Evidence also showed that public notices were issued and published by the Electoral Commission warning the public that Etuuka was not a valid candidate for nomination even though he appeared on the ballot paper.

It is against this background that the justices wondered how the EC could declare Etuuka the winner.

The court also faulted EC for failing to comply with electoral laws by re-nominating Etuuka as the NRM flagbearer and printing his name and photo on the ballot paper to participate in the said election yet the Arua district returning officer conceded to having denominated him upon the receipt of the said court order.

The justices were of the view that after the issuance of the court order, Etuuka could only have participated in the election as an independent candidate

Therefore, EC and Etuuka have been ordered to pay the appellant John Arumadiru Drazu costs of the petition both in the High Court and Court of Appeal. 

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