Former Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi\'s lawyers have hit back at the Electoral Commission and police over their directive barring him from consultations as an aspiring Presidential candidate
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Former Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi\'s lawyers have hit back at the Electoral Commission and police over their directive barring him from consultations as an aspiring Presidential candidate.
Mbabazi\'s legal team in a letter to the Electoral Commission Chairperson dated 24th June 2015 says there is no legal requirement for their client as a presidential aspirant to be endorsement by any political party or any organization for him carry out consultations.
The Amama Mbabazi legal team which includes Muwema and Company Advocates, Akampurira and Partners, Mugisha and Company Advocates and Twinobusingye and Company Advocates was responding to communication from Electoral Commission, Uganda Police Force and NRM Secretary General seeking to stop his planned consultations in various parts of the country.
Inspector General Of Police kale Kayihura, NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba and the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Dr. Badiru Kiggunda have written to Amama Mbabazi asking him to call off his planned consultations.
The three bodies quoting various laws relating to elections in the country say Amama Mbabazi has no right under the law to carry out planned consultation.
Kayihura, Justine Lumumba and Badiru Kiggundu\'s letters have quoted sections of the Presidential Elections Act, the National Resistance Movement Act and the NRM Electoral Commission Primary Election Regulations 2014 in their bid to stop Amama\'s consultations.
But four lawyers quoting sections of the same laws and regulations say when Amama Mbabazi wrote to the Electoral Commission about his planned consultations, he made it clear that he was introducing himself as an aspiring candidate for 2016 general elections.
They say his declaration was in accordance with section three of the Presidential Elections Act 16 of 2005 and that at no moment di their client state that he is a presidential candidate or flag bearer of the National Resistance Movement.
They say section one of the Presidential Elections Act defines an aspirant as a person intending to stand as a candidate during an election for the office of president. Adding that any citizen is free to present himself or herself as an aspiring candidate for president is permitted by law to consult in preparation for his or her nomination as presidential candidate.
The lawyers says sections 48(1) and 48(2) of the national Resistance Movement Constitution quoted by Justine Lumumba were irrelevant and quoted out of context.
NRM Secretary General, Justine Lumumba in a letter dated 20th June to Inspector General of Police copied to Amama Mbabazi said the National Resistance Movement had neither sponsored Mbabazi as an aspirant within the context of the party\'s constitution.
It is on the basis of Lumumba\'s letter that General Kale Kayihura used to declare that Amama Mbabazi has no legal right to carry out consultations as a presidential aspirant.
The lawyers says neither the NRM constitution nor the NRM Electoral Commission (Primary Elections) regulations expressly or by implication bar any bonafide aspirant for candidate of President nor make it a pre-condition to seek and obtain consent or any form of clearance from NRM or the Electoral Commission.
The say both the Presidential Elections Act and the NRM constitution do not require a presidential aspirant to be nominated in order to qualify as an aspirant adding that Mbabazi clearly and lawfully introduced himself as an aspiring candidate.
Justine Kasule Lumumba in her letter said a Presidential aspirant must have the mandate of the political party to convene consultation meetings. Now Mbabazi\'s team say the claim is not supported by any law or the NRM constitution.