Presidential aspirant petitions court over elections

Wednesday September 16 2020

Justice Simon Byabakama in June issued a revised election roadmap for the 2021 polls indicating that campaigns will be conducted through media and online channels to observe Covid-19 SOPs to avert the spread of the virus. PHOTO | FILE

By Ephraim Kasozi
By Jalira Namyalo

A presidential aspirant has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking court’s direction to enable the country achieve a free and fair election in 2021.
Mr Ivan Ssebadduka, alias, Ivan Samuelsburg contends that the Electoral Commission (EC) and its officials do not meet the requirements to organise a free and fair presidential election.
“The incompetence is self-evident in the way they are handling my petition for a waiver and their politically motivated scientific election,” Mr Ssebadduka claims.
Describing himself as the editor in-chief of the Journal of True Science, Mr Ssebadduka claims the scientific elections are meant to favour only one candidate.
He on Monday filed the petition against the EC,  EC chairman Justice Simon Byakama, President Museveni and the Ministry of Health.
Citing the spirit of fairness in the presidential elections, Mr Ssebadduka, a resident of Mengo in Rubaga Division, alleges that the accused government agencies are working in favour of the ruling government. On August 20, the petitioner wrote to EC chairman seeking a waiver on the requirement of 100 signatures of voters from at least three quarters of the districts countrywide, citing lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.
In June, Justice Byabakama issued a revised election road for 2021 polls indicating that campaigns will be conducted through media and online channels to observe Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines to avert the spread of the virus.
However, the decision by EC to ban mass political campaign rallies ahead of the 2021 polls has since been challenged in the High Court with some of the cases dismissed.
Various stakeholders, among them Opposition politician, allege that scientific campaign is yet another ploy by the National Resistance Movement government to rig the election.
The general public raised concerns ranging from remoteness of some parts the country,  to weak radio signals  and  many poor households not owning radio or television sets or 
In Urban areas, many people say they are unable to afford the Internet to keep up with campaign messages posted on social media.