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Youth Activists Petition Court Over LC Polls

Norman Tumuhimbise, the National coordinator of The Alternative, which evolved from Jobless Brotherhood, says the decision to conduct polls by lining up behind candidates, compromises voter privacy and integrity of the polls.

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A group of youths have dragged the Electoral Commission and Attorney General to the High Court Civil Division over plans to conduct local council one and two elections by lining up behind candidates.

 

Through their lawyers, Nuwagaba and Mwebesa advocates, the petitioners, under the group codenamed The Alternative, contend that the move compromises and infringes upon the fundamental human rights and freedoms of Ugandans guaranteed by the 1995 Constitution.

 

In June 2015, parliament passed the 2014 Local Government Amendment bill providing for lining behind candidates in the local council elections to cut costs in disregards of protests pro-democracy activists.

 

The then Leader of Opposition, Wafula Oguttu said lining behind candidates is likely to fuel family feuds and increase commercialization of politics. Norman Tumuhimbise, the National coordinator of The Alternative, which evolved from Jobless Brotherhood, says the decision to conduct polls by lining up behind candidates, compromises voter privacy and integrity of the polls.

 

   

//Cue in: ‘First of all…

Cue out: …our fundamental concern”.//

 

Asked whether their petition isn't late, Bashir Mubiru, the spokesperson of The Alternative, saidthey decided to petition court in line with article 50 (1) of the 1995 constitution.

 

It provides that any person, who claims that a fundarnental or freedom guaranteed under this Constitution has been infringed or threatened, is entitled to apply to a rights and competent court for redress which may include compensation. ..

 

 

Mubiru says the decided to come out after waiting for civil society organizations and other group to respond to the decision in vain. Court is yet to set the date for hearing the petition.

 

 

Recently, the Electoral Commission issued a roadmap for LC I and II polls nationwide after securing Shillings 15. 6billion from government.

 

The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon, said elections will take place on November 21st 2017.  Uganda last had LC I and 2 elections in 2001 under the movement system. 

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