KEY FACTORS THAT COURT BASES ON TO ORDER A BY-ELECTION

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Another MP has lost the seat. This time it is the MP of Kibanda North, Taban Idi Amin Tampo. The Court of Appeal additionally ordered the Electoral Commission to hold a by-election for Kibanda North constituency so that another MP may be selected.

When a candidate for a parliamentary seat feels like he or she lost an election due to unfair or illegal activity, they have the option of petitioning court for various remedies (solutions). In court, the petitioner (this is the person who is suing the winner) will most likely be asking for the person who was announced the winner to have their win cancelled and have a recount of the votes or a by-election.

WHAT IS A BY-ELECTION?
A by-election is when a second election is called in a constituency where there has already been an election but the first election was nullified or declared unlawful. The person who wins the by-election is then declared the representative of that area for the duration of the term.

HOW COMPLAINTS ARE MADE IN COURT
Usually complaints are in form of election petitions which are lodged against the person who has won the election and the electoral commission that handled the same. The petitioner(s) is either a candidate who believes they could have won or a number of supporters/ voters.

WHY WOULD ONE FILE A PETITION?
The election petitions are filed in protest of;
The way the elections were conducted,
Allegations of vote rigging
Allegations of voter interrogation and bribery
Among other allegations of vote malpractice

· The courts of law in annulling an election first get to understand whether there was malpractice in the conducted election and if so, whether the elected person, whose winning is being contested, was responsible for the identified malpractice.

EXAMPLES OF OTHER CONTENTIOUS ELECTIONS
The Court of Appeal in Kampala nullified the election of Kagoma County MP, Moses Walyomu. It also ordered that the Electoral Commission conduct fresh elections. A panel of three Justices; Fredrick Engonda Ntende, Paul Mugamba and Alfonse Owiny Dollo, gave the ruling on March 9, 2017, after overturning a decision by the Jinja High Court that had thrown out evidence tendered in against Walyomu on grounds of voter bribery.

Alex Brandon Kintu, who stood against Walyomu in the 2016 parliamentary elections, chal­lenged his elec­tion in the Court of Ap­peal, after his petition was dismissed by Jinja High Court judge Namundi Godfrey. However, the Court of Appeal ruled that the evidence tendered in by Kintu, pinning Walyomu of acts of bribery on January 3, 2016, when he gave voters money at Mawoito mosque amounting to Shs 500,000, as valid evidence relevant against Walyomu.

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