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Besigye fails to overturn presidential result

The Ugandan Supreme Court on Friday accepted defeated presidential candidate Kizza Besigye’s contention that there had been irregularities associated with the March poll but rejected his appeal to have the result nullified. It found, in a majority ruling, that the electoral failures were not such as to have affected the outcome, Radio Uganda reported on Sunday. President Yoweri Museveni was returned to office in the election with 69.3 percent of the valid vote, compared to 27.8 percent for his main rival, Besigye, and a tiny percentage for four other candidates combined. In Friday’s ruling, judges Arthur Oder and Wilson Chepkoko held that the elections should be nullified while Chief Justice Benjamin Odoko and judges Joseph Mulenga and Alfred Korokora ruled that, while there was some evidence of noncompliance with electoral processes, it would not have altered the result. All five judges agreed that there was some interference with ballot boxes in Rukungiri, southwestern Uganda, and Kalungu, in the northeast, as alleged by Besigye, the report added.

Meanwhile, the High Court in Mbarara, southwestern Uganda, on Saturday ordered a halt to the recount of votes for the parliamentary seat of Mbarara until Tuesday (10 July), the independent ‘Monitor’ newspaper reported on Sunday. The recount had been ordered by the local magistrate after an appeal by District Commissioner Ngoma Ngime, who was beaten to the seat by Winnie Byanyima (wife of Kizza Besigye) by a narrow margin. The recount started on Thursday, 5 July, but Byanyima appealed the magistrate’s order to the High Court. Twenty one of 66 ballot boxes containing the votes for Byanyima and Ngime were found broken and without seals when taken to Mbarara courthouse for the recount, the government-owned ‘New Vision’ reported on Saturday. In a number of the unsealed boxes, ballots for Byanyima appeared to be missing, it added.

In a separate political development, President Yoweri Museveni has reappointed Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe as Vice-President, subject to the approval of parliament, Radio Uganda reported on Sunday. Museveni appointed former Speaker of Parliament Francis Ayume as Attorney-General, and Professor Apollo Nsibambi as a minister with a view to his being elevated in parliament to the post of Prime Minister, Ugandan officials told IRIN on Monday.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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