While responding to Kyagulanyi’s application to amend his petition, Joseph Matsiko who led a team of four lawyers representing the Electoral Commission asked court not to allow the Amendment on grounds that the law provides for such amendments when the applicant doesn’t seek to introduce new grounds.
The Electoral Commission and Attorney
General have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss an application by the National
Unity Platform President, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu to amend his presidential
This came a few minutes after Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Lubega
Sseggona asked the nine Supreme Court justices led by the Chief Justice Alfonse
Owiny-Dollo to permit him to file an amended petition on grounds that whereas
the law provides for filing a presidential election petition 15 days after the
declaration of the election results, Kyagulanyi spent most of these days under
He argued that their clients didn't have sufficient time to bring
additional evidence to support the allegations against the respondents to his
petition. The respondents are the president-elect, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Electoral Commission and
Attorney General whom Kyagulanyi accuses of conniving to rob him of his victory.
The Electoral Commission declared Museveni elected with 58 percent of the votes cast
against 35 percent garnered by Kyagulanyi.
While responding to Kyagulanyi’s application to amend his petition, Joseph
Matsiko who led a team of four lawyers representing the Electoral Commission
asked court not to allow the Amendment on grounds that the law provides for
such amendments when the applicant doesn’t seek to introduce new grounds.
However, says Kyagulanyi's lawyers want to introduce new laws to rely on, which
were not part of their old petition.
He cited the grounds challenging the
failure to use result declaration forms at some polling stations, the
use of technology and faulty biometric machines during the elections. According to the Electoral Commission, since this happened on the
voting day Kyagulanyi would have brought it up in his original
petition. Matsiko says further that it is not permissible to bring
in new grounds given the Constitutional timelines.
The other EC lawyers
included Alfred Oryem Okello, Ellison Karuhanga and Eric Sabiiti. On his
part the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga submitted that the pleadings
were closed legally on Monday the moment all parties filed their responses. He asked if the applicant wants the government to make amendments
to the new law that just extended the time for filing presidential election petitions.
The previous law provided for ten days
within, which to file the presidential election petition. But the days were increased to 15 following the recommendations arising
from the Amama Mbabazi petition against Museveni presidential election
petition. Byaruhanga added that
the law doesn’t allow new causes of action, saying it didn’t even
come up in the previous presidential election petition.
Byaruhanga, who was accompanied by the Solicitor General Francis
Atooke, Commissioners for Civil Litigation, Martin Mwambutsya, George Kallemera
and Christine Kahwa asked the court to decide once and for all if
someone can be allowed to amend the petition without following the guiding
The government argued further that the application lacks merit on
all grounds because Kyagulanyi’s petition was filed on February 1st and by
law the next step was serving the respondents, which they did successfully. Byaruhanga
asked the court to determine three issues including "Whether the civil
procedure laws for filing an application apply in this case ", "Whether the
Amendment can be allowed with a new cause of action and “Whether a
petitioner can be allowed to file out of time”.
The government team also informed the court that in the Amama Mbabazi
Presidential Election Petition, the issue of time was raised occasionally and
as such, they made an extension of filing from ten days to fifteen
days. Court heard that the only sad thing is that the Attorney
General didn't do was to make amendments for the time within, which
the respondents should reply but none the less they have been able to
comply with the deadline. They, therefore, asked court to dismiss the application
Earlier on, Kyagulanyi’s lawyer, Anthony Wameli objected to an
affidavit filed by Oscar Kihika, the Director of the Legal Department in NRM on
behalf of Museveni but didn’t present any proof.
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Court is set to deliver its ruling on the application in a few minute’s time.