17 April 2013

Uganda: Dormant Parties - Mabikke to Sue EC

Some of the supposedly dormant political parties and organizations have threatened to sue the Electoral Commission (EC), if it goes ahead to ask the High court to deregister them. Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Michael Mabikke, one of the parties facing deregistration, says he will sue the EC for abusing his rights.

"Forming and belonging to a political party is a fundamental constitutional right. I think the commission is just threatening, in any case there is no court that can de-register a political party," Mabikke said.

The threat came after EC Chairman Badru Kiggundu told journalists on Monday that the commission would apply for the deregistration of 11 dormant political parties and organizations after they failed to comply with the Political Parties and Organizations Act (PPOA).

Kiggundu said, out of the 38 registered parties and organisations, 11 had never submitted any document as required by the law, despite reminders to do so. The 11 parties that face de-registration are Action Party, Bridge Party, National Redemption Party, New Order Democracy, People's Independent Party, Progressive Alliance Party, Reform Party, Uganda Mandate Party, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Movement Volunteer Mobilizers Organizations.

He explained that the affected parties had failed to submit a declaration of assets and liabilities and annual records of audit since registration.

"These affected political parties have no other known leaders besides the ones whose particulars were included in the registration detail," said Kiggundu. "Some of these parties are Kampala-based and not national in character, which offends the Constitution," Kiggundu stressed.

However, it is unclear how the de-registration will affect some of the politicians elected on the party tickets. Kawempe Mayor Mubarak Munyagwa and the Mayor of Lugazi were elected on SDP ticket, a matter Kiggundu described as "different and a gray area that may require attention".

For his part, Mabikke threatened to sue EC for defamation, something that Kiggundu dismissed saying: "It's okay, we shall meet in court."

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