Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has written to the Electoral Commission introducing himself as an aspiring presidential candidate.
In the June 16th letter, Mbabazi also details his countrywide consultation program in preparation for his nomination.
Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005 requires a presidential candidate to introduced himself to the Commission and notify the relevant local council and the police of the area to which, he or she intends to hold consultations.
The Electoral Commission security registry acknowledged receipt of the letter on June 16th. According to the program that runs through the month of July, Mbabazi intends to start his consultation in Mbale on Thursday July 9 followed by Soroti and Moroto on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Mbabazi’s lawyers warns EC
Meanwhile, Mbabazi’s legal team has written to the Electoral Commission reacting to a statement attributed to the commission Spokesperson Jotham Taremwa warning the ex-premier on early campaign.
The letter signed by four legal firms, quotes Taremwa, as having told the media that one cannot declare his/her intention to contest before the Commission releases a campaign program.
However, Mbabazi’s legal team says the statement attributed to Taremwa is inconsistent with the law and cites section 1 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005, which defines an aspirant as “a person intending to stand as a candidate during the election for the office of the president”.
They also argue that Mbabazi is mandated under Section 3 of the Presidential Elections Act 2005 to consult ahead of his nomination. This particular section provides for aspirants to hold nationwide consultations, prepare their manifesto and other campaign materials, fundraising through lawful means and convening of national delegate’s conference.
“Your spokesperson is therefore not in order to claim that our client is out of order to propagate his presidential aspirations”, reads the letter.
It adds “In the same way his supporters are free to express their support for his presidential aspirations”. The team argues that such aspiration activities are intended to influence the political process in the forthcoming elections.
The advocate argues that as a superintendent of the electoral process in Uganda, Electoral Commission is duty bound to educate and create awareness amongst all Ugandans about the true position of Electoral laws.
Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson declined to comment on the letter saying his office is yet to receive a copy.
The letter is jointly signed by Muwema and Company advocates, Akampurira and Partners, Mugisha and Company Advocates and Twinobusingye Severino and Company advocates. The letter is copied to the attorney general, Director of Public Prosecutions and Inspector General of Police.
On Monday, Amama Mbabazi declared his presidential bid prompting his supporters to take to the streets in jubilation. However, their celebrations were short-lived as police swung in action and started confiscating some of the campaign materials issued by Mbabazi’s teams. Some of the supporters were also picked up and arraigned in court.