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Court was wrong on Besigye petition’

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by ByaseL, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. B

    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    Two of the four Supreme Court judges who voted in favour of dismissing the 2006 presidential election petition filed by Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye are said to have changed their minds and now believe the contested poll result should have been quashed.

    Retired Supreme Court Judge George W. Kanyeihamba made this eye-brow raising assertion in an interview with Sunday Monitor. This is the first time he is publicly commenting on this aspect of the findings of the court.

    The April 6, 2006 ruling saw the Supreme Court bench vote unanimously confirming that there was non-compliance with the election laws. The bench made up of a coram seven judges, however, disagreed on whether the non-compliance and other reported malpractices substantially affected the result which saw President Museveni retain his seat.

    Turning point
    Justice Kanyeihamba now says that although at the beginning four of the seven judges were against an election re-run, they have since privately changed their minds.

    “I will not mention them. You can find it out easily by reading their individual statements,” Justice Kanyeihamba said. “They do not say it in so many words but that is what they mean. The Supreme Court was split, four to three. Two of those four have since changed their minds. They have said the minority were very right; we were wrong to dismiss the petition.”

    The revelations amplify the controversy that surrounded the 2006 petition. It took over a year before the official ruling could be available to the press let alone to the public.
    On April 7, 2006, a day after the ruling, Dr Besigye in a statement expressed his disappointment at the ruling.

    “We are very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision that the election which is not free and fair as required by Article 1 of the Constitution; one that’s not conducted in accordance with the law or the principles laid down in the law can be allowed to stand,” the statement read in part.

    In his petition, Dr Besigye drew attention to inconsistencies between the Presidential Elections’ Act and the Constitution. He provided evidence that the 2006 elections were not conducted in a free and fair manner contrary to the Constitution. He complained over the Presidential Elections Act which required a petitioner to prove that illegalities and malpractices during the elections could substantially affect the election results.

    He observed that the Constitution and legal framework were not only grossly unfair to him but favoured the perpetrators of electoral malpractices. He had only 10 days to prepare and lodge his petition as compared to parliamentary election petitions where a petitioner had 30 days within which to lodge a petition.

    Dr Besigye pointed at the intimidation and harassment of his lawyers and witnesses by security personnel and a media campaign by the State which he said was aimed at ridiculing the petition until the Supreme Court ordered them to stop.

    “It is quite likely that this will be the very last Presidential Elections Petition that Their Lordships will ever preside over, and for this, history will hold Their Lordships responsible for this because subsequent petitions are likely to be addressed to courts similar to the one in which President Museveni found confidence in 1981,” Dr Besigye said.
  2. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
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    This is waht I call mischief if catching the horse after the stable has bolted. Read this for yourself:-