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Supreme Court rules in favour of rebel MPs

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NRM expelled MPs Theodore Sekikubo(Lwemiyaga), Barnabas Tinkasiimire(Buyaga) and Muhammad Nsereko(Kampala Central) being congragulated by their supporters.. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE 

By Ephraim Kasozi

Posted  Thursday, July 10   2014 at  11:43
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The Supreme Court in Kampala has halted the implementation of the February 21, 2014 orders of the Constitutional Court which ordered the four rebel MPs to vacate their seats in Parliament, pending their appeal.

In a ruling read on Thursday morning by Justice Wilson John Tsekooko, six of the seven judges unanimously agreed that the implementation order issued by the Constitutional Court be stayed until the four rebel MPs’ appeal is heard and determined.

The court also ordered the parties to ensure expeditious hearing and disposal of the appeal.

Court was constituted of seven judges including, Bart Katureebe, former Chief justice Benjamin Odoki, Galdino Okello, John Tsekooko, Christine Kitumba and Esther Kisaakye.

However, in a separate (minority) ruling, Justice Esther Kisakye(one of the seven judges on the supreme court panel) ordered the MPs to vacate their seat in Parliament, pending the hearing and disposal of the appeal.

On February 21, the Constitutional Court ordered Mr Theodore Sekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Mr Muhammed Nsereko (Kampala Central), Mr Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Mr Barnabas Tinkasimire (Buyaga County) out of Parliament and declared their seats vacant.

The court also ordered Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga to stop the MPs from accessing and or participating in Parliamentary activities. The court also ordered the Electoral Commission to organize fresh elections in the respective constituencies.

However, the MPs through their lawyers asked court to stay the implementation of the orders of the Constitutional Court which ordered them to vacate their seats.

Earlier on, the court issued express orders that stopped the immediate implementation of the Constitutional Court decisions until their application for a main injunction is heard.

The MPs have since filed an appeal challenging what they describe as the erroneous interpretation by the Constitutional Court that once an MP is expelled from the party, he or she automatically vacates their seats in Parliament.

Speaker Kadaga refused to expel the legislators from the House on account that their dismissal from the party cannot constitutionally translate into expulsion from the House.

Supreme Court rules in favour of rebel MPs
Supreme Court rules in favour of rebel MPs