Mr Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party presidential flag bearer, yesterday secured a temporary lease of life and moved a step closer to his nomination after the Court of Appeal declined to grant an order that would effectively stop his nomination.
A party faction opposed to Mr Mao’s leadership and candidature had run to the court seeking an injunction against his nomination set for early next week. The Electoral Commission announced separately that nominations for presidential candidates will take place on October 25 and 26.
A DP faction led by Mr Samuel Lubega had asked Court of Appeal registrar Asaph Ruhinda Ntengye to issue an interim order to temporarily stay the decision of Judge Lawrence Gidudu which threw out an application seeking to nullify Mr Mao’s election in February in Mbale.This application had been filed by the former DP National Chairman, Prof. Joseph Mukiibi and former DP Vice-President Rainer Kafiire.
But Mr Ruhinda refused to issue the order yesterday and instead adjourned the matter to October 27 to enable both the Electoral Commission and Mr Mao’s DP respond to the main application filed by the faction seeking the temporary injunction restraining the party’s Secretary General, Mr Mathias Nsubuga, from nominating DP candidates for presidential, parliamentary and local elections in the 2010 general elections. Mr Joseph Balikuddembe had earlier told the registrar that if Justice Gidudu’s decision is not stayed, the faction will have no chance to present their candidate for presidential nomination.
The adjournment, however, means that by the time court hears and determines the faction’s application for a temporary injunction, the nomination exercise will be completed leaving the faction with only one option of challenging Mao’s nomination. Records before court indicate that early this year, the faction went to court to challenge the purported Mbale delegates’ conference and its outcome. Justice Gidudu heard their case and dismissed it on May 31 on technical grounds. The faction was dissatisfied with the ruling, hence the appeal.
In the appeal the group alleged that the Mbale delegate’s conference was unlawfully convened by Mr Ssebaana Kizito and Mr Mathias Nsubuga, who were dismissed from the party on February 15, 2010 for defying party directives. Mr Mao, who has been canvassing votes in western and eastern Uganda, West Nile and the Acholi sub-region, returns to Kampala for the presidential nominations set for next week at Nambole Stadium
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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