Lawyer Jude Mbabaali, says the blocking of DP president, Norbert Mao, from being nominated by the electoral commission is “illegal”.
The Electoral Commission in Gulu on Wednesday rejected Mao’s nomination forms who is seeking to contest for Gulu Municipality MP seat.
Mao could not be nominated because he is not in the voters’ register and lacks a national identity card.
The decision was taken after a brief meeting between election officials in Gulu and Mao’s team.
According to article 61 (e) of the Constitution it is only the Electoral Commission that has the mandate to compile, maintain and update on a continuing basis, a national voters register, Mbabaali noted.
He says Section 18 of the Electoral Commission Act also says the same.
He interpreted the incident to mean that it is only the Electoral Commission that can create a Nation voters register and nobody else, that once one registers, he or she remains a voter throughout and can’t be removed from the voters register and that the voters register once created it remains in place and it is only updated by adding new voters as per the law cited above.
According to Mbabaali, the reason Engineer Badru Kiggundu gave for denial of Hon. Nobert Mao to be nominated as MP for Gulu Municipality is that he never registered as a voter when the current voter register was being created by the late Nyakayirima Aronda (a person not mandated to do so) in his capacity as Minister of Internal Affairs.
“Kindly note that Aronda was registering Ugandans for issuance of National IDs,” Mbabaali says.
“It is a fact that Hon. Mao was a registered voter and still is in the old National Voter Register created by the Electoral Commission way back and has always been nominated for elections including for president of Uganda.”
To him, the “National Voter Register” created by the late Aronda in law is no National Voter Register but is not mandated by law to do so but it is a list Ugandans who registered for purposes of receiving National IDs.
“Accordingly I would advise Hon. Mao and others affected the said illegal decision by Engineer Kiggundu to seek an Interim Court order restraining EC from interfering with their nomination on that ground.”
Mao petitions EC
Lawyers representing the DP president have resolved to petition the electoral body on the matter.
Patrick Odoi, one of Mao’s lawyers says they have decided to lodge a complaint to EC as required by the law within seven days.
He says their lead counsel, Nicholas Opiyo, Thursday went to the EC head offices along Jinja road to file the petition.
The lawyers are asking EC to reinsert Mao’s name as a voter in updated register.
Opiyo, was still in talks with EC officials seeking for a compromise.
Why Mao has no ID
Mao who calls his blocking malicious, says he could not register for the national identity card in time because he was still recovering from illness at that time the Ministry of Internal Affairs was registering people.
He said after leaving the intensive care unit, he was too weak to register for the national ID.
When he contacted Kiggundu, the latter refused to help.
Mao then met the late Aronda who promised to work on his problem but died thereafter.