Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Seven youth from a new opposition pressure group dubbed “The Alternative”, have dragged the Uganda Electoral Commission (EC) and Attorney General to the Kampala High Court, seeking orders suspending the forthcoming Local Council (LC) elections on grounds that the purported mode of conducting it is a threat to fundamental human rights.
Led by Norman Tumuhimbise, formerly of the Jobless Brotherhood, the youth contend that the guidelines issued by the EC for voters to openly queue behind their favorite LC candidate is an infringement on the right to secret ballot , voter integrity and fair elections as voters will be exposed to intimidation and manipulation.
The youth now want the country-wide LC 1 elections scheduled for November 21, 2017 to be halted until court pronounces itself on their case filed on Tuesday.
Through their lawyers Niwagaba and Mwebeza Advocates, the youth also want court to declare that EC and the Attorney General have a duty under the constitution to observe, respect, promote and uphold human rights and civil liberties, which principles they have undermined by organizing LC elections in such a manner.
Last month, parliament decided that the mode of elections of Local council leaders will be by voters lining up behind their favorite candidate as per the Local Government Act, due to the limited budget of 15.7 billion shillings allocated to the EC to organize these elections.
THE EC PROGRAMME BEING CHALLENGED