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Uganda:Speaker okays motion to probe vote rigging

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Mar 28, 2011.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Parliament is expected to vote on a key motion that calls for an inquiry into the allegations of widespread vote rigging, ghost voters, missing names, violence and bribery and other forms of electoral malpractices in the February 18 elections.

    Speaker Edward Ssekandi on Friday allowed the NRM MPs led by Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo to table the motion in Parliament tomorrow amid reports that the government chief whip, Daudi Migereko, wants the motion blocked.
    While Mr Migereko was not available for comment, the NRM MPs behind the motion said they will not be intimidated. “As a government, we cannot be successful in other areas and fail to deliver credible elections,” Mr Ssekikubo said.

    “People were caught with pre-ticked ballot papers yet it is business as usual. If the Electoral Commission has a problem, then we must change it. We want an investigation and whoever is responsible should be brought to book.”

    The EC declared President Museveni winner with 68 per cent while his immediate challenger the Inter-Party Cooperation flag bearer, Dr Kizza Besigye, garnered 26 per cent of the valid votes cast in an election the opposition described as sham. However, none of the opposition candidates challenged Museveni’s election in the courts of law.

    While it’s not yet clear why the government wants to block the motion, the NRM MPs with support from the opposition, call for the establishment of a Select Committee of Parliament to investigate the source of the irregularities.

    “These elections were variably characterised by wide raging irregularities namely; the compromised staff, pre-ticked ballot papers, ballot stuffing, bloated registers, missing names on the register, unsealed and insufficient ballot papers, violence and other forms of rigging elections,” a draft copy of the motion reads in part. The motion is seconded by Mr Chris Baryomunsi (Kinkizi West) and Mr Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga).

    According to the lawmakers, the irregularities deprived Ugandans of their constitutional right to freely and fairly choose leaders of their choice.

    “Our history is punctuated by the ultimate sacrifice in a people’s protracted war led by patriotic Ugandans precipitated by election rigging,” the draft motion adds. “The Parliament of Uganda has a constitutional mandate to protect the Constitution and promote democratic governance.”

    The motion followed heated arguments in Parliament last week, where MPs roundly condemned what many described as a fraudulent election and called for an investigation into what happened. Others resurrected the debate on whether the country should have an independent Electoral Commission.

    Opposition rigging?
    “President Museveni was quoted in the papers recently lamenting how the Electoral Commission officials connived with the opposition to rig his votes but as Parliament we cannot keep lamenting when people are stealing elections,” Mr Ssekikubo added while asking the government and other members to support the motion he said is in good faith.

    Explaining how the opposition steals votes, Mr Museveni said: “They collude with some of the officials of the Electoral Commission. First of all, they bloat the voters’ register in, especially, the Kampala areas and possibly Wakiso. You end up with a large number of ghost voters on the register