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Parliament summons Justice Minister over EC’s stance on candidates names

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has given the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ephraim Kamuntu up to the end of this week to explain a reported decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) not to nominate aspirants whose names are not similar with those on their academic documents.

The directive issued by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga followed a concern raised by Soroti Woman MP Angelline Osegge who noted that the electoral body was considering not nominating aspirants who have names that are different from those on their academic papers.

According to Osegge, the Commission was relying on a High Court case between former Kibanda North MP Sam Otada and the current area MP Taban Idi Amin.

Osegge said that the move is going to cause confusion among the intending candidates.

“So right honorable Speaker my plea is, you implore the Electoral Commission to explain or declare the position of the law and to help all intending candidates to know what is expected,” she pleaded.

Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa said that while appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, the issue was brought to the attention of the EC where officials had been told of no uniform position on the matter.

“Whereas they are quoting the Otada case, there is a case I argued up to the Court of Appeal involving honorable Cissy Namujju. She also had different names, I won the case in Masaka High Court and I lost it in the Court of Appeal over the differences in names,” said the Advocate of High Court.

Basalirwa maintains that there is no uniform position in court in regard to difference in names and that this should not be used by the electoral body not to nominate political candidates.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said that the matter is important since it is not even based in law. She directed the Minister of Justice and Constitution Affairs Emphraim Kamuntu to appear before Parliament this week with a statement.

Nomination of parliamentary candidates for the 2021 general election is set to take place from 12th to 14th October by the Electoral Commission.

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