The electoral commission has been given a go-ahead to set a date for LC one elections without going through a protracted trial challenging the same.
This was after the High Court settled a suit between the commission and students who had sued it alleging denial of opportunity to participate in the country’s electoral process. The students faulted the commission of registering electoral voters during a period when they were at school.
The settlement by Justice Steven Musoota followed a consent agreement between the two parties who agreed that the constitutional timelines of the electoral process would not be fitted within a mere holiday.
Justice Steven Musoota signed the consent agreement between the Electoral Commission lawyer Eric Sabiiti and the applicants’ lawyer Caleb Mwesigwa saying the matter was now fully settled and there would be no other matters arising relating to the complaint.
A group of students and teachers led by a one James Tweheyo ran to the courts of law faulting the electoral commission of siding students, teachers, invigilators and scouts who were attending to national exams when the registration for elections was carried out. These argued they were being denied opportunity to their right to participate in the electoral process.
However, in a consent agreement the two parties in the suit agreed on various terms including that the electoral commission is allowed its mandate to determine manner of election process.
These also agreed to settle the matter after understanding that the electoral process is bound by constitutional timelines which cannot fit within the school calendar.
“We were availed a copy of the school calendar and we could not find a holiday suitable enough to accommodate all electoral activities,” Mr Sabiiti said.
“You know these activities are progressive and don’t overlap each other that after registration you have to update after which you have another activity. So you can do nomination and go back to registration so all these activities cannot be singled out in one school holiday,” he added.
The two parties also agreed that there will now be a mechanism to be communicated by the electoral commission to ensure that all parties who were affected by this suit are registered.
‘Those students or their teachers that could not have participated in the registration process will be given a chance upon complaint logged to Electoral Commission because we cannot assume that all students didn’t register,” Mr Sabiiti said.
‘I’ m glad the electoral commission consented that they have agreed to give them chance to register and those who want to stand to go register and stand. And we have agreed to make sure that they are included in the whole electoral process and these will no longer be denied their right,” Mr Tweheyo said after the consent.
The consent agreement also protects the electoral commission from any other such suits from the parties who were involved in the future.