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EC seeks for more time from court to prepare prisoners, Ugandans abroad to vote

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.


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Patson Baraire Mushaija
Patson Baraire Mushaija
Patson Baraire Mushaija is a Seasoned Journalist. He has an experience of Field and Community reporting for over 20 years. He started his career at Daily Monitor in the 1990s and is known for breaking major stories that remain topical issues today like the Bwindi Massacre and Kibwetere Inferno. He also worked at New Vision before concentrating on Digital Media. He has worked as reporter and news editor for a number of Media Organisations. Baraire is a family man, practicing farmer, and public speaker, is passionate about community Journalism. He is currently a Co-Editor at the Informer Ug an Online Publication in Western Uganda. Patson is widely traveled in East and Central Africa where he has attended several media training and Election Monitoring. He is passionate about Environmental Issues and Health Reporting.


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