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MPs petition court over Museveni‘s ‘sole candidature’

FILE PHOTO: President Yoweri Museveni

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Eleven Members of Parliament have petitioned the Constitutional Court demanding a declaration that the endorsement of President Yoweri Museveni as the sole candidate in 2021 general elections is illegal.

The MPS are;  Theodore Ssekikubo , Lwemiyaga County, Barnabas Tinkasimire   Buyaga  west, John Baptist Nambeshe  Manjiya County, Oshabe Patrick Nsamba for  Kassanda North , Mbwatatekamwa Gaffa  for Kasambya  County, Samuel Lyomoki  Workers MP, Silvia Akello for  Otuke District, Susan Amero   , Amuria  District , James Acdri  Maracha East County and  Bildad Moses Adome  for Jie County.

The MPS are represented by  Alaka and Company Advocates, Niwagaba Advocates and Solicitors and  Barirere , Muhangi and Company Advocates.

The MPs through their lawyers state that the resolution adopted at Chobe Safari Lodge on February 19th, 2019 declaring President Yoweri Kaguta as the party’s sole candidate in the fourth coming elections is inconsistent with several articles of the Constitution of Uganda.

The resolution was made by the party’s top organ Central Executive Committee (CEC) but now the petitioners state that CEC doesn’t have the mandate to endorse Museveni.  This is because CEC which passed the resolution to endorse Museveni for 2021 elections and beyond allegedly lacked the mandate and legitimacy since its term of office expires on June 30th, 2020.

They further state that the decision made by the NRM Chief Whip and the Chairperson NRM Parliamentary caucus in blocking them from attending the seven-day retreat in Kyankwanzi in March 2019 is also arbitrary because they were never given a right to fair hearing.

Between March 13 and 20th 2019, the NRM Parliamentary caucus also discussed and declared Museveni’s sole candidature in 2021 and beyond.

However, the eleven legislators state that the endorsement of the president excludes all other aspiring NRM members from offering themselves as presidential candidates in in the coming elections.

According to the NRM Constitution, every member shall have a right to take part in the discussions at the organ where he or she belongs, a right to attend meetings of such organ and a right to take part in nomination papers, organize and conduct elections.

But the MPs now say that Museveni who is now the Chairperson NRM CEC has since gained the advantage as a result of the overwhelming incumbency to extract personal interest following the endorsement.

“Political parties and the nascent multi-party democracy are vehicles for interest articulation and interest aggregation without which, there will be waning of peace, order, security and tranquillity- the hallmarks of rule of law and constitutionalism”, their petition reads in part.

The court hasn’t yet fixed this case for hearing.

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