Monday, 14 March 2016

Follow a LIVE twitter feed of Uganda's ELECTION PETITION

Supreme Court unanimously dismisses Presidential Petition. No costs.
"Museveni was dully declared President and the petition is dismissed"

The court ruled Museveni elected properly, EC boss 
smiles (Independent & @patuhaire)

MARCH 31, 2016- DAY 7:

The Supreme Court has today given its ruling in the Uganda Presidential Elections Petition 2016. Petition dismissed.

  • Electoral Commission legally nominated Museveni as candidate.
  • Court finds that Electoral Commission acted in its Constitutional mandate. There was a national voters register.
  • EC complied with law when it used the National ID cards to identify voters instead of the voters cards.
  • The use of biometric machines did not constitute non compliance to the elections act and didn't disenfranchise voters
  • The assertion of voting without opening ballot boxes was not supported by any evidence in court so it was not proved.
  • The claim of lack of secret voting in some areas was not proved.
  • Evidence in affidavits before Supreme court does not prove there was pre-ticking of votes anywhere.
  • Claim of polling before and after time had no concrete evidence.
  • There was no evidence to back claims that anybody ineligible to vote actually voted. 
  • On pre-ticked ballots in favour of Museveni, court says they found the rebuttal more credible than the submitted evidence
  • Petitioner didn't adduce evidence to back claims that some of his agents and supporters were stopped from voting. 
  • In some cases the petitioner's polling agents were indeed denied information. 
  • There is no satisfactory evidence that voters cast their vote before or after voting time save for a few parts as explained by Kiggundu 
  •  CJ rules that "there was no non compliance with the Presidential Elections Act"
  • The EC could use  Electronic transmission of results and that can't constitute noncompliance. 
  • The allegation regarding electronic transmission of results is not non compliance bse EC can use electronic means to transmit results
  • Based on documents in court, the results declared by EC were based on tally sheets submitted by returning officers.  
  • The EC could use  Electronic transmission of results and that can't constitute noncompliance.
  • We didn't observe major discrepancies in the results submitted by district POs and those announced by EC 
  • EC didn't provide credible explanation why results from (over)1000 polling stations had not been transmitted by time of announcing
  •  We have found that the petitioner had failed to prove that their was noncompliance in the transmission and announcing of results.
  • Reports by ACME show that New Vision gave a fair coverage to all presidential candidates. 
  •  It is true UBC failed to give fair coverage to presidential candidates but that compliance was by UBC and not EC. 
  • CJ proposes law reforms so that Public media can punished if they fail to offer equal coverage to all presidential candidates. 
  •  Court finds unjustified interference by the State in JPAM's election programmes 
  • In the absence of evidence of intimidation, mere presence of police and army near polling stations is lawful. 
  •  The credibility of the "ki-face group" as witnesses of the petitioner is questionable so information provided by them is doubtable
  • We are satisfied that results used by EC to declare winner were the same as those submitted by POs. Amama fails to discharge burden.
  • There was interference with principles of free and fair elections in some areas.
  •  We are not satisfied that the noncompliance affected results in substantial manner.
  •  Museveni didn't engage in bribery of voters when he gave out hoes. 
  • Museveni didn't engage in bribery when money as dished out to NRM offices around the country.
  •  Amama didn't adduce evidence to show that the anus of the leopard line was meant to threaten him and Besigye. 
  •  Kagina and Musisi never campaigned for Museveni but appeared on rallies as public servants. 
  • Amama didn't lay any ground for a recount in 45 districts. 
  • We agree with AG that rules as they stand do not envisage him being respondent to petition.



MARCH 19, 2016- DAY 6 Saturday:  It is wrap!

Mbabazi and Kiryowa Kiwanuka chat during 
a break in the hearings.

BELOW, some of the photos that told
the story of the Election Petition

ALL sides have presented their final submissions. CJ Bart Katureebe thanks all the lawyers on behalf of the Supreme Court, says hard work still ahead - for him. 

DECISION set for March 31.

10am: The declaration results forms have been a major area of contention in the ongoing Uganda Presidential Elections Petition. No wonder a decision to allow Amama Mbabazi's lawyers to scrutinize them was opposed by the respondents in court yesterday.

All eyes will be on Muhammed Mbabazi when he reveals their findings as they have insisted from the beginning that there is a contradiction between the official results and what their agents collected.

1pm: There has been a flurry of activity in court, this is where it is so far before court took a break to 2.30pm

2.30pm - 6pm: See LIVE feed below storify

DAY 5 Friday: The Supreme Court of Uganda today ruled in favour of petitioner Amama Mbabazi's lawyers, who requested for more time to review the Uganda Presidential Election Declaration Forms.

Muhammed Mbabazi, counsel for the petitioner argued that they received the forms late, and therefore needed time to respond to them. 

The Chief Justice therefore asked him to present his case Saturday morning at 10.30am despite protests from the respondents. This after court also ruled that the return forms, DR forms and tally sheets by consent of Amama team and EC lawyers are admitted as evidence.

Led by Kiwanuka Kiryowa, the respondents argued that the Mbabazi team have not handed to court as evidence the forms that they wish to compare those that the EC gave them. 

Kiryowa told court that the petitioner's request isn't made in good faith and is made in breach of court rules and procedures.

He argued that petitioner should have applied for the document before he amended his petition and if they didn't receive them then seek remedy.

Presidential Election Petition No. 1 of 2016 filed by former candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.


Lawyers consult  during a break on Day 4.
 Photo by Pascal Kwesiga

DAY 4 Thursday: The Supreme Court of Uganda today continues hearing of the highly-billed Presidential Election Petition No. 1 of 2016 filed by former candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi. 

It is the day for the Electoral Commission to defend its actions, with counsel Enos Tumusiime making most of the arguments.

He went on the offensive immediately, stating that "the election in 2016 was not a one-day event. It started on the last day that the 2011 election ended."

DAY 3 Wednesday: The Supreme Court of Uganda today continues hearing of the highly-billed Presidential Election Petition No. 1 of 2016 filed by former candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi. 

After hearing from the lawyers of the petitioner in the past two days, focus turns to the petitioners, who respond for the next three days.

DAY 2 Tuesday: The Supreme Court of Uganda today continues hearing of the highly-billed Presidential Election Petition No. 1 of 2016 filed by former candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi. 

The petitioner's lawyers have had their say. 

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe yesterday adjourned court early because both parties had failed to submit evidence as required in advance. He stressed it will be non-stop business today - and will only start with all evidence in his hands.

Summary of DAY 2


Summary of Day 1

The Supreme Court of Uganda has today started hearing of the high-billed Presidential Election Petition No. 1 of 2016 filed by former candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi. First on their agenda was an amicus curiae application by the Civil Society Organisation and Makerere Law dons.

The law dons got the nod. The law dons are Prof Joe Oloka-Onyango, Prof Sylvia Tamale, Prof Christopher Mbazira, Dr Ronald Naluwairo, Dr Rose Nakayi, Dr Busingye Kabumba, Mr Daniel Ruhweza, Dr Kakungulu Mayambala and Daniel Ngabirano.

After a morning in which counsel for the petitioner Muhammed Mbabazi cross-examined  Electoral Commission Chairperson, Eng. Dr Badru Kiggundu on the electoral process, results announcements and the Biometric voter verification process, the day ended abruptly just after 4pm. Katureebe complained  they were not able to follow the presentations by the counsel as they did not have all the affidavits from both sides that were being referred to.

"It's futile for counsel to continue making references to documents Court doesn't have. I think we adjourn to tomorrow at 9:30am," chief justice Bart Katureebe said at 4.10pm.

The nine Justices of the court handling the case are  Chief Justice Bart M. Katureebe, Jotham Tumwesigye, Dr. Esther Kisaakye, Mary Stella Arach-Amoko, Augustine Nshimye, Eldad Mwangusya, Rubby Aweri-Opio, Faith Mwondha and Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza.

Mbabazi petitioned the Supreme Court citing irregularities in the elections. He has sued the poll winner President Yoweri Museveni, the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General seeking to nullify the February 18, 2016 presidential poll results.

President Museveni was declared the winner of the presidential race with 60.62% of the votes, followed by Dr. Besigye, (35.61%), while Amama polled 1.39% of the total votes cast.

The laws governing presidential poll petitions allow the court only 30 days to hear and determine a petition. With limited time remaining, the petitioner will have two days to submit and respondent three days. Then a day for each party to wrap up.