Former Principal Judge and Chairman of The Elders Forum, Justice James Ogoola has said that the Electoral Commission (EC) will have undermined the Constitution if it insists on holding ‘scientific’ elections in 2021.
Ogoola was speaking during a stakeholders meeting organized by the EC at Protea Hotel where he called for a national dialogue that will see a review of the Constitution regarding the forthcoming general election.
Justice Ogoola said: “Elections under the Constitution are predicated on the doctrine of free and fair, unrestricted interaction as well as the known hallmark of mass public rallies at which candidates and the electorate engage each other.”
“The spirit of the Constitution was not a scientific thing and the elections are not about the EC. They are about the electorate and candidates.”
Justice Ogoola called for a national dialogue where he wants the Constitution to be amended to allow for the extension of the elections until it’s safe to hold them normally, with face to face interactions between the candidates and the voters.
Ogoola said that “If there has ever been a good reason and justification to amend the country’s constitution, then this would be the perfect time.”
The Electoral Commission boss, Justice Simon Byabakama however answered that the mandate to extend elections is beyond their institution, adding thus, “whereas the country is grappling with the pandemic and we have to adjust in many ways, there is one immovable aspect of these elections. That is Article 61(2). For it sets the timeline within which the EC must conduct these elections.”
Justice Byabakama said that the EC is committed to holding a free and fair election despite the Coronavirus pandemic and asked for support from all stakeholders to enable them deliver on this aspect.