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Uganda: Riot police deployed at EC headquarters

Riot Police and other heavily armed police officers Thursday cordoned off the headquarters of the Electoral Commission (EC) in Kampala.

This comes ahead of today’s meeting between the EC officials and several presidential hopefuls including Mr Robert Kyagulanyi commonly known as Bobi Wine.

The EC on Tuesday summoned the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament for a meeting over his planned consultative meetings after police blocked his scheduled meetings in Wakiso, Gulu and Lira districts over his alleged failure to meet the conditions that were given to him.

According to EC spokesperson, Mr Jotham Taremwa, the meeting is meant for all aspiring presidential candidates with whom they are to discuss the matter of consultations.

“The purpose of the meeting is that we are going to focus on consultations and campaigns. The deployment is normal. There is nothing unusual,” he said.

In November last year, the self-proclaimed ‘People’s Government’ led by former presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, dragged the  EC to court challenging the legality of Justice Simon Byabakama (the chairman) and Secretary Sam Rwakwojo leading the electoral body ahead of the 2021 election.

The group alleges that Justice Byabakama, who was appointed to chair the EC since November 18, 2016, has never resigned his office as Justice of the Constitutional Court as provided for in the law, and that Mr Rwakojjo’s second term of office expired on September 19.

EC officials dismissed the petition as baseless bad in law and an abuse of court process.

In their sworn reply, the responded argued that the application is time-barred and thus barred by law, that the applicants have not exhausted the existing remedies.

They stated that the application was filed on November 29 about two years from the January 7, 2017, when Mr Byabakama was appointed chairman of the EC.

They further state that the orders sought by the applicants would stifle the operations and management of the commission, render it unmanageable and affect the organisation of a national election in time as required by law.

By Daily Monitor

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