Kampala High Court has dismissed an application seeking an injunction barring the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) from conducting elections for the Central Executive Committee (CEC).
“This court is not persuaded as this application for interim order has no merit and the same is therefore dismissed,” ruled Justice Emmanuel Baguma today August 17.
A one Moses Banalekaki recently sued NRM and its Electoral Commission (EC), saying the party did not nominate candidates for other CEC positions especially the representatives of Special Interest Groups, particularly the representative of the youth league – a position of his interest.
The NRM is organizing elections on August 18 2020 for a section of CEC membership, to wit the NRM National Chairman, 1st Vice National Chairperson, 2nd Vice National Chairperson and 6 regional Chairpersons representing the North, East, West, Central, Kampala and Karamoja regions.
Banalekaki stated that only CEC candidates for the positions of NRM National Chairman, 1st Vice National Chairperson, 2nd National Chairperson representing the North, East, 4 West, Central, Kampala and Karamoja regions would be nominated and allowed to contest leaving out candidates for other CEC positions including the representative of the youth league “without giving any justified cause.”
He prayed that court grants an interim order of injunction restraining NRM from “holding the CEC elections until the determination of the main application for temporary injunction and costs of the application.”
NRM opposed the application stating that it is “misconceived, brought in bad faith and an abuse of court process.”
The ruling political party said elections currently being held are for only directly elected members of CEC which the applicant has chosen not to contest for.
NRM further argued that it had not failed to conduct the elections within the time allowed by the party constitution and that elections for the office bearers of the youth league shall be conducted at the appropriate time.
NRM also argued that the elections of members of special interest groups including the youth league “involve extensive personal contact and can expose the population to COVID-19 which risk informed the respondents’ decision to hold elections of the party in a phased out manner.”
Justice Baguma said the effect of COVID 19 has “not spared political party activities, CEC elections inclusive.”
In the result, the judge ruled, “I also find that in the instant application there is no evidence of a serious threat or imminent threat because the applicant is not contesting in any of the positions in the forthcoming elections of 18 August 2020.”
The judge said NRM had “clearly stated that CEC elections will be conducted in a phased out manner and the elections of the Chairperson youth league and other special interest groups were postponed to a later date which will not affect the applicant. In essence the applicant will still have an opportunity to contest when the special interest group elections are conducted.”
Justice Baguma cited the case of Matthew Rukikaire V INCAFEX Ltd, (Civil Application No. 11 of 2015), whereby court held that; “The evidence of a serious threat has not been availed to court.”
The judge ruled: “Similarly evidence of a serious threat has not been adduced in the instant application…Costs of the application shall be in the cause.”