Unresolved electoral reforms risks postponement of 2021 general elections – Judiciary.
Ugandan Lawyers have warned that pending government electoral reforms could lead to postponement of 2021 General as a result of contempt of Court.
Yesterday in a Supreme Court ruling, the government was given one-month ultimatum to table the reforms that have stayed since 2016.
These include the electoral reforms derived from the Supreme Court election petition No. 1 2016, Amaama Mbabazi verses Museveni among others.
In this case, the Supreme Court directed the Attorney General among others to amend the time of filing and determination of the petition, the chair of evidence, the time of holding 2021 elections, the use of Technology and equal use of State-Owned media.
Vice President Uganda Law Society, Phoebe Wall warns that if this reform goes unresolved it may prompt Court to issue sanctions.
“Refuse to comply with Court order and that means Court can then give sanctions. It can order the Attorney General to appear and answer, it might order a fine, it might postpone 2021 elections, it can do a Court order in by-elections,” Wall warned.
Makerere Law Don Sued the Attorney General for the setback early this year in March, then in May this year the Attorney General assured Parliament that the electoral reforms will be held before May ends, but it failed.
Today experts say failure to table these electoral reforms, it will affect governments commitments to Uganda’s democracy.
“The incense of the 2016 recommendations or Court orders- one was for democracy- two was for fair play in the politics of this country, thirdly which is very important is for the rule of law,” Geoffrey, Turyamusima, a Constitutional Lawyer said.
“This is an opportunity for the government to show how committed to electoral reforms and democracy they are and the rule of law,” Wall said.
UN Independent expert on democracy, Livingstone Ssewanyana said that Uganda needs to exercise democracy if at all the country is to fulfil its commitment towards a democratic State.
“Of course! We need to know, understand them and perceive them in the context of a democratic dispensation. Countries like Uganda, need to live to their obligations, they need to be seen practice democracy and of course democracy, is important in terms of averting possible crises or conflicts and we know that country like Uganda had a problem of having free, fair and inclusive elections,” Ssewanyana explained.
They, however, advised the Three arms of government to be independent during their activities to ensure sound legal framework. These include Executive, legislature and Judiciary.