The hearing and determination of parliamentary and local council election disputes, which arose from the January 14 polls, is standing at 90 percent complete, the Judiciary has said.
Mr Jamson Karemani, the public relations officer of the institution, said the pending election disputes are mainly at the stage of judgment.
“The completed election petitions are currently at about 90 percent and we are really on course of the time allocated to us,” Mr Karemani said yesterday.
“The remaining petitions don’t reach 30 out of 155 for both Parliamentary and Local Council. Most of them are pending judgment,” he added.
The hearing of disputes, which arose from the January 14 parliamentary and local council elections, commenced on August 16. Electoral laws stipulate that once the hearing of an election petition starts, the judge has 30 days to render judgment.
This means that judges had up to September 16 to deliver judgments. The hearing of petitions was delayed after a second pandemic wave sent Uganda into a second hard lockdown. Mr Karemani, however, said the law gives room to the judges to complete the pending election petition even if the 30 days lapse.
“The law is not absolute; it gives room to judges to borrow more time. We hope that in the shortest time possible, they will also be completed,” Mr Karemani further explained.
Adding: “We don’t have a cut-off time but at the back of every judge, after the 30 days, they can’t prolong it despite the law not being clear on the specific time frame of extension.”
The Judiciary spokesperson also revealed that the Court of Appeal, which is the final court in determining parliamentary and local council disputes, has started receiving appeals that arose from dissatisfied parties at High Court level. The Court of Appeal usually has six months to dispose of the appeals from the High Court.
Most of the election petitions have been dismissed this time round. By last Friday, only three legislators had been thrown out of Parliament. Some like Christine Ndiwalana of Bukomasimbi North appealed such decisions, meaning they are still in Parliament until the Court of Appeal rules otherwise.