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NRM justifies cancelled special interest CEC nomination

By Barbra Kabahumuza

Added 14th August 2020 01:10 PM

Kihika explains that the application is premature as the party and its electoral body have not failed within the time allowed by the party constitution to conduct elections for the office bearers of the party organs.

NRM justifies cancelled special interest CEC nomination

Oscar Kihika, the director, Legal Affairs and Secretary to the NRM’s Electoral Commission stated that it is the duty of the party electoral body to orgainse and conduct elections within the organs of the party. File photo

Kihika explains that the application is premature as the party and its electoral body have not failed within the time allowed by the party constitution to conduct elections for the office bearers of the party organs.

COURT|POLITICS|ELECTIONS

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has justified its decision to cancel the election of representatives of special interest groups to become Central Executive Committee (CEC) members.

The justification is contained in a court response filed at High Court civil division Kampala.

It is a rebuttal to a suit filed last week by Moses Banalekaki against NRM party and its Electoral Commission.    

 In an affidavit sworn by Director, Legal Affairs and Secretary to the Electoral Commission Oscar Kihika, he says it is the duty of the party electoral body to organise and conduct elections within the organs of the party. Kihika states that it is CEC to make regulations for all elections under the NRM constitution.

"The elections currently being held are only for directly elected members to CEC which the applicant has chosen not to contest for," Kihika states.

He further asserts that under article 13(2) (F) of the NRM constitution, the Chairperson of the National Special League Committee (in this case the NRM Youth League) is not a directly elected member of CEC but is only a member virtue of holding chairmanship of the youth league office.

"The term of office for the elected members of the organs of the party including the youth league is five years," reads part of the affidavit.

Kihika explains that the application is premature as the party and its electoral body have not failed within the time allowed by the party constitution to conduct elections for the office bearers of the party organs.

Through K$ K advocates, formerly Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates, at the appropriate time in accordance with the party constitution and the laws of Uganda , the respondents shall conduct elections for the office bearers of the youth league.

COVID-19 precautionary measures

Court documents also indicate that the election for the members of the Special Interest Groups of the party including the youth league, involve extensive personal contact. 

Kihika says, the prevailing circumstances can expose the population to COVID-19, therefore a risk decision to hold the elections of the party organs in a phased out manner.

"The respondent stands to lose more than the applicant in the event that this application is granted considering that NRM will be deprived of participation in the political process of this country at all levels," Kihika asserts.

 Mass negative effect

Kihika contends that the balance of convenience is in favour of the respondents since an injunction would affect the rights of over 15, 000 delegates slated to attend the National Conference to elect some CEC members, the wider party membership which is in the millions and would lead to loss of colossal sums of money that have already been spent by the party  in organising  the National Conference and CEC elections.

Usaama Sebuufu, counsel for the respondents and Mukiibi, for the applicant appeared before Justice Emmanuel Baguma and directed them to file written submissions.

The judge will deliver his ruling on August 17.

Banalekaki complaint

Banalekaki seeks a court order, quashing CEC resolution of cancelling the nomination and elections of representatives of special interest, including the youth league at CEC level.

He says he intends to contest for the office of the National Chairperson of the youth league, which qualifies him as a member of CEC in the ongoing election process.

However, court documents indicate that between May and July, the party through CEC passed a resolution to the effect that EC exclusively nominates and conducts elections of candidates only for a section of CEC membership, namely, the positions of NRM National chairman and vice national chairperson.

"In implementing the party's resolution, EC consequently issued elections roadmap, dated July, 2020 that only CEC candidates for the positions of NRM National chairman and vice national chairperson would be nominated and allowed to contest, leaving out candidates for CEC positions, including representatives of special interest groups," he asserts.

He wants court to issue a directive to NRM EC to nominate him as candidate for CEC representing the youth league.

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