Ugandan Supreme Court Justice George Kanyeihamba
has criticized as premature the re-appointment of Badru Kiggunda as chairman of
the country’s Electoral Commission.
Kiggunda and his commission were criticized
by the opposition for their handling of the 2006 presidential elections, which
the opposition said were rigged in favor of President Yoweri Museveni.
Justice Kanyeihamba said the Electoral Commission under Kiggundu failed to
implement the recommendations of the Supreme Court.
have not shown any inclination to adopt the recommendations made by the various
courts that have made decisions on our electoral defects. We have adequate
laws; what we need is enforcement of the present constitutional provisions and
all the laws enacted by the parliament,” he said.
said it was unfortunate that the electoral commission ignored the many
electoral reforms recommended by the Supreme Court.
most glaring were, the Court found that the constitution had not been obeyed,
the candidates or their agents had blatantly committed electoral offenses, but
the members of the Electoral Commission, obviously including the chairman had
more or less looked the other way and they proceeded as if everything was in
order,” Kanyeihamba said.
said the re-hiring of Kiggunda as chair of the Electoral Commission was
premature because he overlooked the offenses committed in order to advance the
election of certain candidates.
need an electoral commission and a membership which is respected by the
community. I believe the current commission has lost favor with the population
as a whole,” Kanyeihamba said.
told VOA earlier this week he had advanced a number of electoral reforms that
are pending the approval of the Ugandan government.
Kanyeihamba said the bulk of Uganda’s current electoral laws are adequate. The
problem, he said, is the Electoral Commission’s failure to implement them.
should have asked him (Kiggunda) the court has handed the following: For
example, that you (Kiggunda) favored candidates against others; that the
incumbent administration has a lion’s share of the press in Uganda when the law
says it should be equal time given to opponents and government candidates
alike. Why haven’t you done that?” Kanyeihamba said.
also denied earlier this week that his commission rigged the 2006 elections in
favor of President Museveni, saying he has acted ethically in all the elections
rejected Kiggunda’s claims and said the Supreme Court had found that the
Electoral Commission did not comply with the constitution.