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Pressure Piles on Attorney General to Act on Supreme Court Election Recommendations

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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More and more stakeholders have come up to pressurize the office of the Attorney General to make a response to electoral reform recommendations that were made by the Supreme Court in 2016, during its ruling on the election petition filed by candidate Amama Mbabazi.

The court following the disputed election, recommended a set of reforms to be made in the country’s electoral system, and asked the Attorney General to follow them up.

Among others, the judges called for amendment of the Presidential Elections Act to prohibit campaign donations including by a sitting president; Prohibition of public servants from participating in political campaigns, and for all candidates to be allocated equal space on state owned media.

The AG was to report back to the court two years later with the progress on fast-tracking these reforms.

The two year period elapsed days ago, on August 26th, and yet no update has been provided to the Supreme Court.

Over the past months, various groups have come out to remind the Attorney General about the fast approaching deadline, but claim to have received no response or commitment.

Last week, lawyers from the Game Changers, a network of civil society activists, formally petitioned the Attorney General’s office demanding action.

These say they had made reminders to the AG since April but received no response.

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“The Game Changers through social media chats and radio talk shows and through their official twitter accounts kept the Attorney General posted on the fast approaching deadline,” said Charity. K. Ahimbisibwe, one of group’s lawyers.

“Seeing that the Attorney General ignored all efforts to respond to the public on critical pending electoral reforms, the Game Changers have officially petitioned his office demanding that he makes an official response to the 10 electoral reform proposals that the Supreme Court judges made in 2016.”

Earlier last week, another group of lawyers under the Network of Public Interest Lawyers (NETPIL) held a press conference calling on the AG to make a response to the Supreme Court.

These too say they got no commitment from the AG’s office.

NETPIL National Coordinator, Arthur Nsereko said they had received information that the Supreme Court recently wrote to the Attorney General reminding him of the impending expiry of two year period but there was no response to that effect.

Chimpreports was unable, to reach of the Attorney General William Byaruhanga and his Deputy Mwesigwa Rukutana for a comment.

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