Election 2016

Live: Uganda Election Petition Hearing at the Supreme Court

EC and Museveni lawyers preparing for the session

And Kenneth Kazibwe

12:20 pm: Justice Bart Katureebe sets 2:30 pm as the time to rule on whether the the Supreme Court will accept an ‘amended petition’ from Amama Mbabazi.

Katureebe says while court was scheduled to start at 9:00am, order http://concasol.org/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-ms-users-list-table.php Mbabazi’s lawyers filed an ‘amended petition’ at 10:00am.

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Mbabazi’s lawyers insist there is no specific law that bars the petitioner from applying for amendment provided it’s within the 30 days.

 

Katureebe clarifies that much as the petitioner seeks substantive justice, medical it should  be subject to the law.

Lawyer Matsiko for the first respondent says his client would suffer immense prejudice if the amendment is allowed.

He maintains that the amendment is nothing but a disguised rejoinder which is not allowed.

Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana posits that Article 126 (2) (e) is not a magic wand to aid a defaulting litigant but must be invoked subject to the Law.

He also argued that one does not need to amend the petition but bring new evidence – which is permissible.

Museveni’s lawyers insist Rule 8(5) of the Presidential Election Rules does not permit the Petitioner to file a rejoinder due to strict timelines.

The election petition must be decided within 30 days.

12:00 pm: Electoral Commission says this isn’t just a mere amendment but an entirely new petition, visit this citing a request for a vote recount.

Enos Tumusiime representing EC says there are no special circumstances for allowing the amendment under Rule 17 of the Presidential Election Rules.

EC submits that the requests included in the amendment serve to prolong the trial in the prejudice of the respondents.

Respondents say Rule 15 which petitioner seeks to evoke isn’t open to the petitioner to make the amendment he has made and should be dismissed.

Lead counsel asks that the Chief Justice disallows and dismisses the application for amendment because it’s unconstitutional.

11:40am: Justices return to the court room after an adjournment and the session has resumed.

Petitioners say they had consultations with respondents but didn’t agree on withdraw of amendment.

Justice Katureebe questions how the 14 days (period in which an amendment should be filed) apply to this petition.

EC lawyer: “The amendment copy isn’t lodged in this court, not signed by registrar and necessary fees not paid. It’s very unconstitutional.

“The constitution has no provision for the amendment or extension of time and that time limits are clearly stipulated.”

Like Chief Justice Katureebe, Electoral Commission questions the special circumstances under which the petitioner is applying for extension of time.

10:45am: Supreme Court takes 30 minutes recess as advised by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe to allow legal teams to reach a position on the petition amendment by Amama Mbabazi.

Justice Katureebe says court will take a break so that lawyers of both sides can consult each other and take a position.

Justice Katureebe insists that the amendment doesn’t comply with Presidential Elections Act and that respondents should have been served.

Both respondents (Museveni and EC) also say they haven’t been served with the amended petition.

Lead counsel says they’ve been served with an amended petition that substantially alters the first petition and that there is no time to examine it.

Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana is the lead counsel to the petition and is now introducing the names of petitioners and respondents

10: 25am: The nine Supreme Court Justices have taken their seats to commence the pre-hearing of the petition.

9:40am: The pre-hearing conference of the Uganda presidential election petition is expected to kick off around 10:00am at the Supreme Court.

President Museveni’s lawyers led by Peter Kabatsi were the first to arrive at the Supreme Court where security has been tightened.

Others include Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Edwin Karugire, Eric Sabiti, Evans Ochieng and Hussein Kashillingi.

The Attorney General Fred Ruhindi is also in the house. The lawyers looked jovial as they exchanged pleasantries.

Museveni's lawyers in court

Museveni’s lawyers in court

Basalirwa (R) arriving at the Supreme Court

Basalirwa (R) arriving at the Supreme Court

Attorney General Fred Ruhindi attending the session

Attorney General Fred Ruhindi attending the session

Sniffer dogs could be seen combing the area for explosives.

Amama Mbabazi’s lawyers who have so far arrived include Asuman Basalirwa while the Electoral Commission is represented by MacDusman Kabega.

Justices Faith Mwondha, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and Rubi Opio Aweri have taken their seats.

Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana in attendance

Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana in attendance


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