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EC Asks Court to Dismiss Achola's Petition

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In his letter to Achola, the Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, said the candidate did not provide the Electoral Commission with any evidence indicating that there was compliance with the law when she adopted the said names during the national identity card enrollment exercise in 2015.
FDC's Achola Catherine Osupelem listening to Court Proceedings

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Electoral Commission has asked court to dismiss an application by Catherine Achola Osupelem, the former Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party candidate for the Pallisa Woman parliamentary seat challenging her disqualification from the race. 

Achola filed an application in the High Court Civil Division on June 19th 2018 after Electoral Commission nullified her nomination, saying the names on her nomination papers don't match those on her academic papers. While Achola's academic documents bear Catherine Achola, she appears as Achola Catherine Osupelem on the voter's register. 

In his letter to Achola, the Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, said the candidate did not provide the Electoral Commission with any evidence indicating that there was compliance with the law when she adopted the said names during the national identity card enrollment exercise in 2015.

Following the nullification of Achola's nomination, Electoral Commission declared her National Resistance Movement-NRM party rival, Faith Alupo as an opposed, which has become an issue of contention. In her application, Achola argues that she included her father's Osupelem during the national identity card enrollment exercise.

According to Achola, she got a statutory declaration to that effect in 2015 when the National Identification Card was issued. This afternoon, the Electoral Commission Lawyer, Eric Sabiiti asked Justice Musa Sekaana to dismiss the application on grounds that Achola didn't follow the rules set by the Commission. He explains that that rules demands that one should have similar names on his/her academic documents and the voter's register.

Sabiiti explained that the applicant's academic documents bear Achola Catherine yet in the voters registrar where she was registered willingly she appears as Achola Catherine Osupelem, which means that they are two different people. He also told court that Achola didn't provide the Commission with any evidence indicating that there was compliance with the law when she adopted the said names during the national identity card enrollment exercise in 2015.

Achola's lawyer, Wilfred Nuwagaba dismissed the Electoral Commission's decision, saying it was illegal, saying the Commission has failed to produce the second person using the same names. Quoting Section 15 of the Parliamentary Elections Act 2001, Nuwagaba explained that someone can only be declared unopposed when the date of voting has elapsed. 

Pallisa will go to the polls on June 28th, 2018 when Electoral Commission. Justice Sekaana set July 12, 2018 to deliver his ruling on the application. Nuwagaba told URN outside the court that they want nothing short of nullifying the EC decision.

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Luganda Soundbyte.

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The Pallisa Woman MP seat fell vacant after the incumbent Member of Parliament Agnes Amede, decided to move to the newly created Butebo district that was carved out of Pallisa in 2017.