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Friday,August 14,2020 00:52 AM

Regional court gives 2021 polls greenlight

By Farooq Kasule

Added 6th February 2020 05:27 PM

However, the court noted that city lawyer Male Mabirizi's appeal in Age Limit case raises serious questions on interpretation of East African Treaty.

Regional court gives 2021 polls greenlight

Mabirizi

However, the court noted that city lawyer Male Mabirizi's appeal in Age Limit case raises serious questions on interpretation of East African Treaty.

2021 POLLS
 
The East African Court of Justice has declined to halt the 2021 electoral process thereby dismissing an application by city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi.
 
However, the court noted that city lawyer Male Mabirizi's appeal in Age Limit case raises serious questions on interpretation of East African Treaty.
 
The court has opted to quickly hear and decide the main case than halting the 2021 electoral road map.
 
Last year, Mabirizi asked the court to halt the 2021 presidential elections to allow the hearing and determination of the presidential age limit appeal which he lodged before it.
 
In a notice issued on January 6, the court had indicated that it will deliver its ruling on the matter today at its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
 
Judges on the panel are Monica Mugenyi, a justice of the Court of Appeal in Uganda, Faustin Ntezilyayo, Dr. Charles Nyawello, Audance Ngiye, and Charles Nyachae.  
 
In his application, Mabirizi says it will be unfair if the court does not halt the general elections roadmap since President Yoweri Museveni's candidature is being challenged having clocked 75 years.
 
On May 3 this year, Mabirizi filed a reference at the court seeking a declaration that the process of passing and assenting to the Age Limit Act did not comply with Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community.
 
This followed a Supreme Court verdict in which majority justices (4:3) dismissed an appeal in the matter, arguing that despite several breaches which occurred during the tabling, debating and passing of the bill, it had no substantive effect on the process of the entire enactment of the Act.
 
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Stella Arach Amoko, Rubby Aweri and Jotham Tumwesigye dismissed the appeal while Eldad Mwangusya, Lilian Tibatemwa- Ekirikubinza and Paul Mugamba dissented.
 
Mabirizi claims that the MPs amended the presidential age limit clauses (102b) in the Constitution by use of violence and deployment of military police in and outside Parliament which he says is unconstitutional.
 
He purports that the age limit amendment was done without complying with the strict procedures contained in the Constitution, acts of Parliament and rules of procedure of Parliament.
 
Mabirizi wants the regional court to declare that the several actions and decision of upholding the age limit amendment were unconstitutional and infringed on the treaty that established the East African Community.
 
However, Solicitor General Francis Atoke wants court to dismiss the application, saying it will derail the country's election road map.
 
The government says that the court has no jurisdiction to hear case because the issues raised by Mabirizi in the matter have since been resolved by competent courts in the country and there is no need for a retrial.
 
The government argues that in April last year, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Constitutional Court that Okayed the amendment of Article 102(b) to scrap the upper age limit cap of 75 years and lower age cap of 35 for anyone to contest for presidency.
 

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