The Electoral Commission has petitioned court seeking more time to enable them cater for the participation of Prisoners and Ugandans in the Diaspora.
The application was filed yesterday Tuesday July 7th 2020 filed in the High Court where the Electorsl Commission through its legal officer Mr Hamid Lugoloobi stated that the commission does not have money to facilitate the process.
Mr Lugoloobi said that the money that was allocated to the commission for the 2020/2021 financial year can only handle registered Ugandans in the coming general elections.
This comes after Justice Lydia Mugambe made a ruling last month that ended the 25- year ban on voting rights of Prisoners and Ugandans abroad.
“As citizens, Ugandans of eighteen years and above who are in prison or in the Diaspora have the right to vote under Article 59 of the Constitution,” Justice Mugambe ordered.
However, Mr Lugoloobi in his affidavit said that without another source of independent funding, the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions and coupled with the limited timeframe of only seven months to the polls, the Electoral Commission cannot open the voter register to include prisoneyrs and Ugandans abroad.
“It is therefore just and equitable that the High Court reviews its order in which it recognised the rights of inmates and people in the Diaspora to vote in the next election and instead allow EC to embark on the process in the near future,” the Electoral Commission application reads in part.
Justice Esthter Nambayo has fixed the hearing of the application on July 13th 2020.
Mr Steven Kalali dragged the Attorney General and the Electoral Commission to court seeking prisoners and Ugandans abroad to participate in national elections.
Justice Mugambe ruled that even a comparative analysis demonstrates that several other democracies enforce the right to vote for prisoners and those in the Diaspora.
She cited countries like South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia that allow these categories of citizens to vote.
She said that the Electoral Commission’s conduct of depriving them of this right is illegal as it infringes their rights in violation of articles 1, (59) and 21 of the Constitution.