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There is still space to challenge Museveni’s sole candidature

Members of Parliament Theodore Ssekikubo and Samuel Lyomoki are part of the 11 legislators Challenging Museveni’s Sole Candidature

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The National Resistance Movement-NRM party lawyer, Kiryowa Kiwanuka has told the constitutional court that there is still chance for any of their members to challenge president, Yoweri Museveni for the party card ahead of the 2021 polls.

He was responding to application filed by 11 NRM leaning Members of Parliament are challenging the party’s decision to endorse Museveni as the sole presidential for the 2021 elections and beyond.

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

Through their lawyers of Alaka and Company Advocates, Niwagaba Advocates and Solicitors and Barirere, Muhangi and Company Advocates, the legislators sued their party challenging the February 19th, 2019 resolution adopted at Chobe Safari Lodge, which declared President Museveni as the party’s sole presidential candidate in the fourth coming elections.

The legislators noted that the decision made by the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the party’s top most organ is inconsistent with several articles of the country’s constitution. They also contend that the decision by the NRM Chief Whip and NRM Parliamentary caucus chairperson to block them from attending the seven-day retreat in Kyankwanzi in March 2019 was arbitrary since they were never given a fair hearing.

However, on Tuesday, the NRM party lawyer, Kiryowa Kiwanuka  told the panel of five Constitutional Court Judges led by the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo that the NRM party Constitution is very clear on whoever wants to contest for the party ticket.

Kiwanuka explained that party released its road Map recently for the forthcoming elections, arguing that there is space for those who want to contest for the party’s top most position. He asked court to dismiss the evidence presented on flash disk by the legislators implicating the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa for barring them from attending the party meeting at Chobe Safari Lodge where Museveni was endorsed as sole NRM presidential candidate.

He said the evidence isn’t transcribed and therefore can’t meet the required Standards under the Electronic and Transactions Act.  Kiwanuka argued that the Electoral Commission should have been the one to lodge a complaint in court if the NRM hadn’t complied with some of its constitutional provisions in line with the Political Parties and Organizations Act,

The Worker’s MP Sam Lyomoki, who is one of the petitioners, told URN shortly after the court session that he was happy to hear that there is still space for those interested in challenging Museveni is the party primaries.

Justice Dollo said they will deliver their judgment on notice. The other members of the panel are Justices Christopher Madrama, Egonda Ntende, Kenneth Kakuru and Cheborion Barishaki.

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