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Uganda lawyers say president disrespects the law

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Posted January 15, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in News ~ 2,227 views

     


KAMPALA (AFP) – Ugandan lawyers on Thursday voiced dismay at recent comments by President Yoweri Museveni rubbishing a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that found his operatives guilty of vote-rigging.

Bruce Kyerere, president of the Uganda Law Society, which includes most of the country’s leading lawyers, told AFP that Museveni’s recent comments show that “even the most high in the land have little understanding of what due process and rule of law are all about.”

In an interview last week, the independent Daily Monitor newspaper asked Museveni about the ruling that found Uganda’s election law and constitution were violated to boost support for the ruling National Resistance Movemement (NRM) during the 2006 general polls.

“The problem is that many of you are not serious. You people in the papers and all these wonderful people running up and down. There is no way the NRM could cheat,” Museveni answered.

“When you look at the structure of the electoral body, it comprises mainly the civil service. The civil service is mainly anti-NRM. You know that. And these are the people who were polling officials to organise and cheat for the opposition,” he added.

Recently retired Supreme Court Judge George Kanyeihamba told AFP Thursday Museveni’s comments “absolutely” showed ignorance of the court’s 2006 findings.

“You don’t need to talk to a supreme court judge to know the president was mistaken. You can just read the ruling,” Kanyeihamba said.

All seven jurists ruled that the laws were broken to the benefit of the NRM, but only three voted to overturn the result, Kanyeihamba explained.

“For the President to now claim that the cheating was by the opposition, a matter he never raised nor proved (in court)… shows he does not seem to respect some of the findings of the court,” Kyerere said in an email.

“This is a problem not just for legal profession but for the country as a whole.”
Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, is running for re-election next month amid opposition claims the current conditions do not allow for free and fair polls.

Article Source: AFP, Yahoo


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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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