Petitioner wants 77 MPs out as EC files notice of appeal - National | NTV

Petitioner wants 77 MPs out as EC files notice of appeal

Thursday January 2, 2020

 

By EPHRAIM KASOZI


Former MP for Bufumbira County East Eddie Kwizera yesterday accused Electoral Commission (EC) and Attorney General (AG) of giving banished MPs “false hope” yet the process of creating constituencies is very clear in the Constitution.

Mr Kwizera, who filed a petition against 83 constituencies in June last year, said his legal team is studying the judgment to establish why court did not pronounce itself on the other 77 constituencies.


“We are going to cross appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court. MPs should direct their minds to the law at hand and they should know that they did not have Constituencies to represent in Parliament. Dr Tumwesigye did not resign legally, he should go to court and seek interpretation whether his resignation existed or never existed,” he insisted.


Speaking in a telephone interview from Kisoro, Mr Kwizera described the notice of appeal by the AG as an absurdity to defend illegal issues yet he should have advised the government before reaching court.


The AG was jointly sued with the EC challenging the legality of 83 constituencies which he said were illegally created by Parliament in collusion with the Executive.


“The MPs should be reminded that they cannot appeal as individuals nor bring new evidence unless if EC manufactures the gazette and present it to court,” said Mr Kwizera reasoning that although it is the right of AG and EC to appeal, it is an illegality of the Constituencies and not Parliamentary Elections Petition.


He said AG cannot defend people who violate the Constitution instead he should defend him.
Mr Kwizera said: “The MPs should know that they were misled by EC by calling for elections in non-existent constituencies, so let them prepare for 2021 instead of wasting time and money.”


Last week, Constitutional Court ordered six MPs to vacate Parliament citing that they were elected in constituencies that were non-existent.


The affected MPs are; Mr Patrick Ochan (Apac, UPC party), Dr Elioda Tumwesigye (Sheema, NRM party), Mr Tarsis Rwaburindore (Ibanda, NRM party), Mr Hashim Sulaiman (Nebbi, NRM party), Mr Asuman Basalirwa (Bugiri, Jeema party) and Mr Abraham Lokii (Kotido, NRM party).


The judges unanimously held that the elections conducted in the six affected mentioned municipalities are not elections for an office of MP existing under the Constitution because they were neither general elections nor by-elections.


The judges ruled that the seats contested for did not have a vacancy and were already represented by elected MPs in the general elections of 2016. However, the court decision have since attracted statements from government intending to appeal the judgment.

The affected MPs as well as the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) also indicated that they are studying the court decision with a view of appealing it.


Court heard that the right number of geographical constituencies in Uganda today must be 214, not the 297 which are represented in the 10th Parliament. According to Mr Kwizera, the 83 constituencies were “illegally” created by Parliament between 2011 and 2019, and should, therefore, be declared null and void, expunged from government records and the affected MPs be compelled to refund taxpayers’ money.