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Court Orders EC to Allow Prisoners, Ugandans Abroad to Vote

High Court judge Lydia Mugambe has ordered the Electoral Commission (E.C) to allow all Ugandans above eighteen years that are locked up in prison and those abroad to participate in elections happening in Uganda

This ruling followed an application filed in court by lawyer Steven Kalali who described the act of eliminating eligible Ugandans in both prison and abroad as a violation of the constitution and their fundamental rights

In her ruling, Mugambe said the EC had failed to point out any law on which they base to deny these people their right of participating in elections within their country.

“May be for my discernment the second respondent should have pointed more specifically to these intricacies related to prisoners voting. Nonetheless, I cannot imagine anything that can take away the constitutional right to vote for prisoners and Ugandans in diaspora.”

She added that continued disenfranchisement of these Ugandans is a violation of Article 25 of the international convention on civil and political rights (ICCPR)and article 13 of the African Charter which guarantees the right to vote of all citizens.

The judge as such ordered E.C to comply with its obligation under Article 59 clause 3 to take all required steps of ensuring that all citizens register and exercise their rights to vote.

Electoral Commission spokesperson Mr Jotham Taremwa said the commission was yet to receive the ruling, adding that a formal response would be made once the ruling has been studied.

 

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