The victory of the Speaker of Parlaiment,Edward Ssekandi in Bukoto Central constituency is being challenged. His rival Jude Mbabaali takes the battle to High Court for determination.
The High court in Kampala has summoned the Speaker of Parliament Edward Ssekandi to respond to a suit challenging his re-election as the member of parliament for Bukoto Central constituency in Masaka District.
The suit has been lodged by his longtime challenger, Democratic Party's Jude Mbabaali. He is being represented by Lukwago and Company Advocates, run by Kampala Lord Mayor-elect Erias Lukwago.
Jointly charged with the speaker is the Electoral Commission, the body in charge of elections.
In his suit, Mbabaali contends that the elections were characterized by gross irregularities, malpractice, violence and acts of intimidation and torture.
He also cites lack of freedom and transparency, unfairness and commission of numerous electoral offenses.
Mbabaali argues that the election was conducted in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission Act, and the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005, as amended, and affected the result of the election rendering it invalid.
Mbabaali wants Ssekandi win quashed and a new election Bukoto Central constituency called. He also wants court to Ssekandi meet the costs of the suit.
In his sworn affidavit supporting the suit, Mbabaali says that during the campaigns, Ssekandi connived with the Electoral Commission and the Masaka returning officer to claim flimsy defamation charges against him.
He also accuses Ssekandi of having used government machinery and resources during the campaigns in contravention of electoral laws.
Mbabaali cites the government vehicles Sekandi reportedly used as having registration numbers UG 0069 H, UG 0080 H and UG163H.
The petitioner further accuses Ssekandi for having influenced voters to vote for him after he masqueraded as the next vice president already been endorsed by the president.
The High Court expects the speaker and the commission to file a response within 10 days.
The Court has warned the Speaker and the Electoral Commission to comply with the summons or else it may proceed with the suit and pass judgment in their absence.
The Electoral Commission declared Ssekandi of the National Resistance Movement the winner of Bukoto Central parliametary seat. he polled 11,380 votes to Mbabaali's 10,146 votes, a margin of 1234 votes.
On the Eletoral Commission, Mbabaali alleges that the electoral body's agents acted contrary to the law and failed to control the use of ballot papers leading to massive rigging in Sekandi's favour.
Mbabaali also pins the Electoral Commission for opening the ballot boxes in the absence of the required five voters before voting begun plus failing to mark the said voters with asterisks.
The court is waiting for the defendants' defense before it can fix a hearing date.
This is the second time Mbabaali is challenging Sekandi in court. In 2006 he also claimed that Sekandi had rigged his way to parliament.
speaker of parliament