The EC had been blamed for failure to conduct the exercise in accordance with the laws governing Parliamentary elections.
PIC: Former Deputy Chief Justice was part of the coram
JUSTICE | ELECTION
KAMPALA - The Court of Appeal has exonerated the Electoral Commission (EC) from any wrong doing when it overturned the judgment of the High Court in which it had ordered Rakai Woman MP Juliet Kinyamatama Ssuubi out of Parliament.
Following an election petition by political archrival Robinah Nakasirye Ssentongo, the High Court sitting at Masaka had ordered Ssuubi to vacate her seat in Parliament on the ground that the EC had failed to hold the exercise in accordance with the electoral laws.
However, the Court of Appeal today agreed with EC's external lawyer Geoffrey Kandeebe Ntambirweki that the trial court had failed to properly evaluate the evidence on record and came to a wrong conclusion.
Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo chaired the coram. The other members were Justices DCJ (emeritus) Steven Kavuma and Chebrion Barishaki.
Ssentongo had alleged that there was ballot stuffing and multiple voting at several polling stations and that the whole process was characterised by violence and intimidation of voters in connivance of polling officials and, therefore, Ssuubi was mot validly elected. The EC was blamed for failure to conduct the exercise in accordance with the laws governing Parliamentary elections.
The court ruled that the allegation of intimidation of voters by certain persons was not directly linked to the appellant.
"We also take judicial notice of the fact that the elections for the women Member of Parliament took place on the same day as that of the President and those of the directly elected Members of Parliament. It would, therefore, in our view, be unfair to place such acts on the first appellant without sufficient credible evidence to prove it as a fact," the court ruled.
The court had been told that Ssuubi Kinyamatama, Robinah Ssentongo and two others were Parliamentary candidates for Rakai district Parliamentary woman elections that were held on February 18, 2016 and; at the end of it all the declared and gazetted Kinyamatama the winner.
However, Ssentongo, who was dissatisfied with the results, petitioned the High Court on ground that the EC failed in its statutory duties to organise a free and fair election for the district of Rakai; as there was non-compliance with the electoral laws that affected the election in a substantial manner.