EC Defends New Voter's Register Top story

1702 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
In his presidential election petition before the Supreme Court, Mbabazi contends that EC used data from the national identity card enrolment exercise to come up with a national voters register for the elections, contrary to the constitution and Electoral Commission act.

Electoral Commission-EC has denied claims by former independent presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi, that it failed to compile the national voter's register for the 2016 national election.  

In his presidential election petition before the Supreme Court, Mbabazi contends that EC used data from the national identity card enrolment exercise to come up with a national voter's register for the elections, contrary to the constitution and Electoral Commission act.
 

He contends that EC is independent and should have compiled, maintained and updated the national voter's register based on voters in the 2011 polls. But Enos Tumusiime, the EC lead counsel in his submission, says Electoral Commission complied with the law. 

He says the registration of person's acts allows EC to use the information in the national identity card register to compile, maintain, revise and update the national voter's register. According to Tumusiime, this was deliberately stated to conform to the constitution and the EC act. He said a new voter's register had to be compiled because the old register had challenges like partial finger prints of four instead of ten fingers, only 30 percent of voter's biometrics captured, multiple registration, missing photographs, mismatched photographs against bio data and ageing photographs.
 

"In order to address these challenges that were affecting the integrity of the national voter's register, EC made a decision to adopt full finger printing technology to compile a fresh voter's register," he said. Adding that, "the process right from the village to district level was undertaken and managed by Electoral Commission staff."
 
He said the EC also gazetted the registration period and carried out intensive campaigns, extended the period of registration, invited voter's to confirm their particulars and displayed the fresh national voter's register, adding that, there is a national voter's register.

"If the petitioner disputes the fact, why did he use the register for his nomination?" he asked. He also denied that the old register has been retired and archived, adding that a voter can't be retired and archived.  On the allegation of the illegal nomination of Yoweri Museveni, Tumusiime said his nomination was properly done, saying EC compiled with the law.

 
He said the ruling National Resistance Movement party sponsored Museveni, leading to his nomination. Tumusiime said the extension of the nomination date for presidential candidates was not to favor Museveni, but to enable all candidates comply with the provision of the amended Electoral Commission act. 

He then submitted that Museveni was duly nominated and prayed that, the petitioner's pleading be dismissed.  Court adjourned for 30 minutes. 

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."