JOY IN NUP CAMP AS COURT UPHOLDS JOEL SSENYONYI’S ELECTION VICTORY
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By Joel Mugabi
Justice Isaac Muwata of the High Court in Kampala has dismissed Shukla Mukesh’s petition challenging the election of National Unity Platform (NUP) Spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi as Nakawa West Member of Parliament.
The Thursday afternoon ruling has now upheld the election of Ssenyonyi, who chairs the powerful COSASE Committee of Parliament.
In his ruling, Justice Muwata made it clear that Mukesh had terribly failed to adduce evidence to prove that the Nakawa West election was marred by irregularities such as ballot stuffing and refusal or failure to sign the declaration of results forms.
The judge further ruled that Mukesh and his lawyers failed to prove how the alleged irregularities would have affected the results announced by Justice Simon Mugenyi’s Electoral Commission (EC) in a substantial manner.
In his petition, which was filed in March, Mukesh had alleged that Ssenyonyi engineered ballot stuffing in at least eight of the 153 polling stations. Mukesh had also claimed that the youthful NUP Spokesperson had changed results at one of the polling stations, and that Ssenyonyi was give 81 votes yet he had polled 58.
In the end, Muwata dismissed Mukesh’s petition with costs, frankly reminding him that Ssenyonyi had beaten him with such a huge margin, which he would not have closed even if all the votes at the eight polling stations in question had been awarded to him. According to official EC results, Mukesh garnered 806 votes while Ssenyonyi got 30,847.
“Even if all the votes were in the favour of the petitioner, the winning margin wouldn’t have been affected in a substantial manner. Therefore, I’m unable to set aside the election for the reason that the petitioner has failed to adduce evidence to set aside the election,” ruled Muwata. “The petition is dismissed with costs. I uphold the victory of the second respondent as the validly elected member of parliament for Nakawa West constituency.”
Ssekawere Ssenyonyi (he welcomed a baby girl just yesterday) said Muwata’s judgement didn’t surprise him since Mukesh had a very poor case. But the election and petition loser swore he would appeal Muwata’s ruling.(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).