8 March 2018

East Africa: Court Dismisses Burundi's Case Against EALA Speaker

The East African Court of Justice has dismissed the case filed by Burundi seeking the removal of Rwanda's Martin Ngoga as Speaker of the regional assembly. The EACJ, in its ruling Wednesday, said the petition had been "overtaken by events" as the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly had since assumed office.

The court added that the order Burundi was seeking would have led to the suspension of the assembly whereas Eala was not an issue in the matter. Burundi went to court seeking Mr Ngoga be barred from holding office, saying he was elected as Speaker despite the absence of Burundi and Tanzania members.

The court struck out the application but ordered the case challenging the election process of Mr Ngoga "be heard expeditiously".

Burundi argues that Eala failed to follow regulations on quorum that require half of the elected members of the assembly be present during the poll. The members should be at least one-third of the MPs from each partner state.

East African Community member states include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

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