Breaking

EC, AG Ask Court to Dismiss Kyagulanyi’s Application to Amend Petition for Lack of Merit

Top story
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.
Electoral Commission Lawyers in Court.

Audio 2

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 election petition.

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 house arrest.

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 laws.
 

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 with costs.



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.    

//Cue in: "Tuliwano kukoti ensukulumu...

Cue out: ... Atte nata butekamu”. //

English Audio        

//Cue in: " First of all...


Cue out: ... attach that authority”. //

 

Court is set to deliver its ruling on the application in a few minute’s time.