Mbabazi, Museveni Lawyers Agree on Issues to Guide Petition Hearing

3887 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Key of the issues they agreed to tackle are whether there was noncompliance with the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act and the Electoral Commission Act in the conduct of the 2016 presidential election and whether such non-compliance affected the presidential election results in a substantial manner.

The legal teams of former independent presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi and President Yoweri Museveni have zeroed on six areas that they want addressed during the hearing of the presidential election petition before the Supreme Court. The two parties agreed on the areas together with the Attorney General during an hour long meeting they held this afternoon at the Supreme Court.

Key of the issues they agreed tackle are whether there was noncompliance with the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act and the Electoral Commission Act in the conduct of the 2016 presidential election and whether such non-compliance affected the presidential election results in a substantial manner.
 
 
They also agreed to ascertain whether there were offenses committed under the Presidential Elections Act by Museveni personally or with his knowledge and consent or approval, whether the Attorney General is properly joined as a party to the petition and whether Mbabazi is entitled to any of the reliefs sought.  
 
 
They also agreed on three facts including that there was a presidential election conducted by the Electoral Commission (EC) on the 18th February 2016, that on 20th February 2016, Museveni was declared as validly elected president with 5,517,503 votes representing 60.75% of the valid votes cast.


They also agreed on the fact that on the 20th February 2016, the petitioner Amama Mbabazi was declared to have polled 132,574 votes representing 1.43% of the valid votes cast. However, while briefing court after the meeting, Mbabazi's lead lawyer, Muhammad Mbabazi told court that they had failed to agree on some issues that they had suggested, to guide the hearing.

 
He cited their disagreements on whether Electoral Commission relied on any results from polling stations and district tally centers as a basis to declare Museveni as the winner of the 2016 presidential elections. Mbabazi also said they had disagreed on whether petitioner is entitled to the preliminary relief of a vote recount in the areas specified in his petition and whether there was a national voter's register compiled, maintained and updated by EC for the 2016 presidential election. 

He therefore sought guidance from the bench on how to proceed on the disputed areas.
 
 
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Mwesigwa Rukutana, the Deputy Attorney General explained to court the basis of their disagreement on some of the issues raised by Mbabazi's legal team.


 
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After a fifteen minutes discussion by the judges, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe said that in the court's view, the issues agreed upon by both parties are sufficient for determining the petition before court. He further noted that the issues proposed by Mbabazi's legal team are covered well in the agreed areas.
 

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The penal of nine Supreme Court Judges led by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe is slated to start hearing the election petition on Monday 14th. The other members of the bench are  are Jotham Tumwesigye, Esther Kisaakye, Stella Arach-Amoko, Augustine Nshimye Sebuturo, Faith Mwondha, Ruby Aweri Opio, Eldad Mwangusya and Prof Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza.

 
In his petition, Independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi seeks the nullification of the 2016 presidential election results and declaration of Yoweri Museveni as the elected president of Uganda. He faults Museveni for openly bribing voters in breach of the electoral laws of the country.

Mbabazi also faults Electoral Commission for failing to comply with provisions of electoral laws.  Mbabazi also contends that the Commission failed to establish a tally center as provided for under section 54 of the presidential election act 2005.
  

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.