The Supreme court has hit an early blow to National Unity Platform (NUP) former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi by dismissing submitted amendments to the originally filed election petition.
In addition to his initial 26 allegations and grounds calling for the annulment of President Yoweri Museveni's election victory, Kyagulanyi who is disputing the results of January 14 general elections, sought to challenge Museveni's eligibility to stand for the presidency without first relinquishing his powers as president.
Kyagulanyi ran to court after the EC declared Museveni winner of the January 14 presidential elections. According to poll results announced by the EC chairperson justice Simon Byabakama, Museveni garnered 58 per cent of the total votes cast against Kyagulanyi's 35 per cent.
The Supreme court justices led by the chief justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo noted that the amendment raises new matters which were not part of Kyagulanyi’s original application. To the court, this is contrary to the laws governing presidential election petitions that follow strict and fixed timelines.
They also noted that issues regarding amendments on irregularities arising from electoral processes such as during transmission of declaration result (DR) forms and the electoral offences allegedly committed by Museveni are already covered in the original petition, arguing that there is no need to add them.
Kyagulanyi's lawyers led by Medard Lubega Sseggona told journalists that they are dissatisfied with the court decision. He, however, said that they have nothing to do since the Supreme court is the last judicial structure of the country.
In his petition, Kyagulanyi said the elections were marred with voter bribery, intimidation, arrests of his agents, violence that resulted into death and favouritism among others. He asked court to overturn Museveni's victory and order fresh elections. But since he had spent 10 days under house arrest yet the law provides that presidential election petitions be filed within 15 days, Kyagulanyi couldn’t file the application in time since he was confined by security at his residence.
Kyagulanyi told court after filing the election petition, that he had come across new evidence of noncompliance with electoral laws by Museveni and wanted to bring it to the attention of the court for further investigations. Earlier, the three respondents to application namely Museveni, Electoral Commission and Attorney General had asked court to dismiss the application with costs on grounds that the law governing presidential election petitions don't permit for amendments to the application to introduce new matters.
EC was represented by lawyers led by Joseph Matsiko, Eric Sabiiti and Alfred Okello Oryem. Museveni was represented by Ebert Byenkya while the attorney general William Byaruhanga and solicitor general, Francis Atooke represented the government. The court is scheduled to start hearing the main petition in the Parking Yard of the Supreme court on Thursday this week under tents because of COVID-19 restrictions.