Turinawe to challenge EALA poll results over mistreatment

Wednesday March 1 2017

By Moses Kyeyune

PARLIAMENT.

Ingrid Turinawe Kamateneti, the Forum for Democratic Change national secretary for mobilisation has vowed to challenge the outcome of EALA elections in the East African Court of Justice.

Ms Turinawe who participated in the Tuesday elections where Parliament elected nine representatives to the regional assembly said that the Exercise was flawed by the conspiracy between “small shades of opinion” to lock the largest opposition party out of the regional assembly. 

“They can’t just go unchallenged, how can NRM conspire with these small parties against FDC when it is clear, we have the majority opposition,” she said.

Ms Turinawe who for the first time since the 2016 elections accepted that FDC is an opposition party, a sharp shift from her persistence that FDC had won the presidential election also said that she was mistreated by the House when she was defending her candidature.

“When you look at how they treated me, you wonder whether they are ‘honourable’ members of a national Parliament, I have to seek fairness by all means,” she said.

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Ms Turinawe was speaking to Daily Monitor briefly after the official announcement of the EALA election results on Tuesday evening.

However, Mr Chris Obore, the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Parliament told Daily Monitor that  Ms Turinawe is free to take any legal action, but asked her to bear in mind the framers of the treaty that establishes the East African Community.

“It is her right to seek legal redress where she feels aggrieved but that treaty was not made by the Parliament of Uganda,” he said.

About the alleged mistreatment, Mr Obore said that it is unfortunate that Ms Turinawe doesn’t understand legislative immunity enjoyed by lawmakers.

“You cannot stop members from expressing themselves in a manner they so wish, (Ms) Turinawe and group should know that what happened in the House is part of the privileges enjoyed by members and stopping them would be depriving them of their rights as stipulated in the constitution,” Obore said.

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On Tuesday, just as she set foot in the House, Turinawe was greeted by rejection with several members heckling and booing her, accusing her of contempt of the House through her activism.

Mr Obore said that despite her encounter with an angry House, Ms Turinawe was protected by the Speaker.

 “It is unfair for her to claim she was mistreated when the Speaker allowed her the stipulated time of seven minutes, she was clearly protected…” said Mr Obore.

In 2012, Ms Anita Among (Bukedea Woman) the then FDC Flag bearer challenged the outcome of the EALA results citing similar grounds but although the East African Court of Justice ordered for the respect of the existing shades of opinion in the House, it declined to annul the outcome.

The court also declined to specifically commit itself on political formations and how they could be represented in the regional assembly.

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