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Court Dismisses Soroti City West Election Petition

The petition was filed by Anne Ameco and another on grounds that the election was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the provisions of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the Parliamentary Act, as amended and the Electoral Commission Act.
Soroti City West Petitioner, Anne Ameco with some of the voters at Soroti Court.

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The High Court in Soroti has dismissed with costs, a petition filed by two area voters challenging the election of Jonathan Ebwalu as the Soroti City West Member of Parliament.

The petition was filed by Anne Ameco and another on grounds that the election was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the provisions of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the Parliamentary Act, as amended and the Electoral Commission Act. They also argued that  Ebwalu committed several election malpractices which grossly affected the outcome of the exercise.

But presiding judge Anne Mugenyi Bitature said that the petitioners did not adhere to the Parliamentary Elections Act which requires the petition filed by voters to be accompanied with 500 signatures of other registered voters in the constituency. However, the court found that less than half of the required 500 voters fulfilled the legal requirement of appending signatures to the petition with voter’s identity cards, polling station details or districts where they were registered from.

“The petitioners themselves filed only uncertified copies of voter location slips and National Identity Cards to claim they were registered voters without any extract of the National Voters Register to show that they were registered voters.  Even the 500 or more voters listed in the attachment to the petition didn’t attach their voters’ identity cards nor indicate their polling stations and districts”, the ruling reads.

The judge adds that some of the voters indicated their names only without signatures while others had thump prints with non-compliance to the Illiteracy Protection Act requires illiterate persons to swear affidavits of the commissioner of oaths on their status.

According to the ruling, the only semblance of signatures appended to the list had 208 voters who didn’t attach the required documents like voter’s identity cards, indicate their polling stations and districts without extract of the National Voters’ Register.

//Cue in; “Clearly…

Cue out…Sserwanga.“//

Justice Mugenyi ordered the petitioners to pay costs to Ebwalu and the Electoral Commission that had been dragged to court.

The ruling of Soroti City West Division comes after the same judge annulled the election of Moses Okia Attan of Soroti City East Division over non- existent wards of Opiyai and Aloet. The two wards were annexed to Soroti City West by Justice Wilson Masalu Musene before elections and returned to Soroti City East Division after the election by the same judge.