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77 Uganda MPs thrown out

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by ByaseL, Feb 15, 2011.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    Speaker Edward Ssekandi has ordered the 77 lawmakers who changed political platforms ahead of this year’s election to immediately vacate Parliament, giving effect to a court ruling which said their actions were unconstitutional.

    Parliament’s spokesperson Helen Kaweesa told Daily Monitor that Mr Ssekandi signed the MPs’ dismissal letters last Friday. The letters, asking them to hand over any House property, were put in their pigeon holes. Ms Kaweesa also said their names have been expunged from the payroll. Ms Kaweesa said: “MPs have received their letters explaining why they have been asked to leave Parliament ahead of their tenure in the 8th Parliament.” The 8th Parliament’s term ends in May.

    Other sources close to the Speaker’s Office told Daily Monitor yesterday that Mr Ssekandi has also asked the Clerk to Parliament, Mr Aeneas Tandekwire, who is the accounting officer, to determine how much money each MP will refund to the Treasury.

    A recent investigation by this newspaper revealed the MPs have earned more than Shs2.7 billion since November last year when they changed political platforms as they got nominated for re-election.

    While all the 77 MPs on the Speakers list ought to vacate Parliament in accordance with the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling, Ms Kaweesa said presidential candidate Beti Kamya, and Kampala mayoral candidates Michael Mabikke and Erias Lukwago will not be ejected from Parliament as their cases were still a subject of further scrutiny since they fall outside the Parliamentary Elections Act.

    The Speaker’s decision came after the Supreme Court, in its Friday sitting upheld the February 1 landmark Constitutional Court ruling in which the five judges unanimously ruled that by seeking re-election on party tickets other than those on which they were elected, the affected lawmakers were deemed to have lost their seats.

    The Constitutional Court, in its ruling had declared MPs nomination null and void but the Supreme Court has since granted the affected legislators an interim injunction shielding their nomination—making them eligible for re-election.

    Giving their interpretation of Article 83, the judges stated: “You cannot in a multi-party political system continue to represent the electorate on a (different) party basis in Parliament, while at the same time offering yourself for election for the next Parliament on the ticket of a different political party or as an independent.

    “It would be a betrayal of the people who elected you and an exhibition of the highest form of political hypocrisy and opportunism. It is also an exhibition of political indiscipline and abuse of people’s sovereignty as enshrined in the Constitution,” the judges added.