Uganda: Former MP Challenges Election Roadmap

17 February 2020

Kampala — The former Bufumbira County East MP, Mr Eddie Kwizera, has challenged the Electoral Commission (EC) programme for the 2021 General Election, alleging illegalities.

On February 14, Mr Kwizera wrote to the EC saying the nomination dates for presidential and parliamentary elections are contrary to the Constitution and the presidential and parliamentary election laws.

"All you are presently involved in is a waste of taxpayers' money. This is, therefore, to request you to recognise and accept that your decision is unconstitutional and publicly rescind within seven days. Should you fail to do so, our client will immediately challenge your decision in the ," Mr Kwizera's lawyers, Victoria Advocates, wrote.

The EC has set August 12, 13 and August 20 and 21 as nomination dates for parliamentary and presidential candidates, respectively.

Section 16(2) of the Presidential Elections Act directs the EC to appoint a day for Presidential Elections not later than 90 days after the final nomination date.

"Under Section 18 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, you are required to appoint a polling day not later than 45 days after nomination days. This means you intend to hold presidential elections on or before November 21, 2020 and parliamentary elections not later than September 27, 2020," the complaint reads.

Mr Kwizera said this is despite the fact the current presidential and parliamentary terms expire on May 11, 2021 and the General Election will, therefore, be held between February 10 and May 10.

"Our client is aggrieved that you have in the process decided to ignore Article 61(2) of the Constitution which requires you to hold general elections within the first 30 days of the 90 days before the expiration of the term of the president," he stated.

However, when contacted, Mr Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson, dismissed Mr Kwizera's threat to sue and declined to engage in a discussion over the issue.

"Let him go to court, we shall meet him there," Mr Taremwa said.

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