15 March 2016

Uganda: Mbabazi Lawyers Say EC Had No Results to Announce Museveni Winner

Photo: Tendai Marima/Daily Vox
Voting (file photo).

On the second day of the hearing in the ongoing election petition at Uganda's Supreme Court challenging President Yoweri Museveni's win, the petitioner's lawyers spent much of Tuesday scrutinising affidavits as part of their evidence of non-compliance with the various electoral laws and the Constitution.

The petitioner - former prime minister Amama Mbabazi's - legal team said that there were no results that the Electoral Commission used to declared the winner in line with the Presidential Elections Act, the Electoral Commission Act and the Constitution.

Led by Muhammad Mbabazi, the former premier's team argued that under the law, Declaration of Results (DR) forms, tally sheets and returns from the districts' polling stations were mandatory before the Electoral Commission, the second respondent in the case, declared the presidential election winner.

"We have discharged the burden that there was non-compliance with section 56 of the Presidential Elections Act and Section 48 (iii) of the Constitution because there was fundamental departure from the principles underlying these sections which rendered the outcome a nullity," said Mr Mbabazi.

According to Mr Mbabazi lawyers, affidavits scrutinised in court on Tuesday and the testimony given by the EC chairman Badru Kiggundu on Monday revealed that the documents were not available at the national tally centre by the time of announcing results.

"I had electronic transmission of results. At that time I did not have them [the DR forms]. Presiding officers insert them in tamperproof envelopes and send to tally centre where technical officers scan the forms and tally clerks enter results as seen on the screen," Dr Kiggundu told Court on Monday.

Mr Mbabazi argued that the forms must be dully signed by the agents of each candidate and the District Retuning Officer, as proof of actual records of what transpired at polling stations and at the districts.

The EC however argued that it is not mandatory for results to be declared with Declaration of Results forms, tally sheets and returns.

"It is our submission that the second respondent 'enacted' his own laws and used his own results to declare Museveni the winner," argued Mbabazi.

In the petition, President Museveni is the first respondent, while the EC and Attorney General are second and third respondents respectively.

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