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Museveni benefited from 2006 election mess, says another judge

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by ByaseL, Aug 26, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

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    Aug 26, 2009
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    Richard Wanambwa
    Kampala

    Most of the election irregularities in 2001 and 2006 were perpetrated by or for the benefit of President Museveni, a Supreme Court judge said yesterday.

    “Although no Presidential election has been annulled yet, the Supreme Court has unequivocally found and held in the two elections petitions presented to it after 2001 and 2006 President elections that there was significant violation of the electoral system in all forms and manner,” said Justice Joseph Mulenga, adding: “Significantly, most of the violations and irregularities are perpetrated by and/or for the benefit of the incumbents in power, which in the normal course of things makes for very gross contradiction.”

    Justice Mulenga, now a judge at African Court of Justice, made the remarks while presenting a paper on Uganda’s electoral, legal and institutional framework perspective for 2011 at a public debate organised by Makerere University Convocation and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala yesterday.

    The judge, who was on the panel that heard the 2006 Presidential Election petition, attacked the ruling NRM party saying “how can the party whose top leadership risked life to engage in the bush war in protest against rigged elections and with a view to bringing in fundamental change and usher in good governance perpetrate or be linked to rigging of elections?”

    The Supreme Court ruled on a 4:3 verdict to dismiss Dr Kizza Besigye’s petition that sought to overturn President Museveni’s re-election but roundly concurred that the February 23, 2006 poll was not free and fair because of massive irregularities.

    The judges pointed out that not only did the EC not conduct the poll in compliance with the Constitution, the Presidential Elections Act and the Electoral Commission Act but also unanimously ruled the poll was not held in compliance with the principles of the Constitution and other relevant laws.

    Justices William Tsekooko, Alfred Karokora, Joseph Mulenga, George Kanyeihamba, Bart Katureebe and the late Arthur Oder heard the petition with Justice Benjamin Odoki.

    While Justices Kanyeihamba, Oder and Tsekooko ruled to cancel the elections, Justice Mulenga together with Justices Katureebe, Karokora, Odoki dismissed Dr Besigye’s petition. In past interviews, Justice Kanyeihamba has questioned the wisdom of the other judges who upheld Mr Museveni’s victory, saying it contravened the Constitution.

    Yesterday, Justice Mulenga also had a dig at the Opposition casting doubt on their ability to promote, respect and uphold true democratic electoral systems. “And this leads to a broader question; is the entire political elite in Uganda whether currently in power or Opposition, ready and willing to promote, respect, protest and uphold a truly democratic electoral system?” he said.
     
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