Kampala, Uganda | AFRICATEMBELEA | In an attempt to avoid “any eventuality” that could render their appeal unsuccessful, the National Unity Party (NUP) attempted to file their Presidential election petition today, one day ahead of the official deadline.
The Supreme Court however declined the request, reassuring NUP lawyers that they can still file their petition on Monday, February 1.
The Judiciary Spokesperson Jameson Karemani confirmed to URN that Kyagulanyi’s team had indeed written to the court requesting to file the petition today.
“It’s true his lawyers wrote to court giving notice that they intended to file (Saturday) but we advised them to file on Monday.”
Article 104 of the Constitution as amended in 2017 allows a presidential candidate up to 15 days after the declaration of results to file a petition in the Supreme Court.
“The last day of filing the petition falls on 31st January 2021, which is a Sunday. Hence the last day for doing so is Monday 1st Feb, 21,” the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo said in a notice.
Precaution by NUP
Kyagulanyi’s lawyers of Wameli and Company Advocates had written to the Supreme Court Registrar to allow them to file their petition today to meet the fifteen-day deadline, which falls on Sunday.
“….We act on behalf of Mr. Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu on whose instructions we address you as follows; Our client has instructed us to file the above presidential election petition on his behalf. Although the deadline for filing is Monday 1st, February 2021, we wish to file the petition Saturday the 30th day of January 2021 by 2 pm to avoid any eventuality,” NUP lawyers, Wameli and Company Advocates, had written.
This year’s presidential election results were declared on January 16th 2021. The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama declared incumbent President, Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni the winner of the elections with 5,851,037 votes representing 58.64 percent against Kyagulanyi’s 3,475,298 votes representing 34.85 percent.
On January 28th, 2021, Justice Byabakama released the final tally of the results showing that Museveni garnered an extra 191, 861 votes pushing his final tally to 6,042,898 votes representing 58.38% while Kyagulanyi got an extra 156, 139 votes pushing his final tally to 3,631,437 votes representing 35.0%.
However, Kyagulanyi, who was under house arrest for 11 days from the Election Day, has since rejected the poll results.
He told journalists a few days that he has overwhelming evidence to overturn Museveni’s election but would leave the matter to the public court.
Kyagulanyi argued that he didn’t have hope of his petition succeeding in court like the previous one filed by former presidential candidates, Amama Mbabazi and Dr. Kiiza Besigye because the judges are appointed by his rival.
URN has since learnt that Kyagulanyi’s legal team intends to adduce evidence to prove that the election was marred by irregularities since his nomination, fraud and arrest of his agents and the direct involvement of the military in the elections among others.