KAMPALA, UGANDA: The constitutional court in Kampala has thrown out case filed by Conservative Party (CP) challenging the increment of nomination fees for Members of parliament.
In a sitting chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Kenneth Kakuru, Catherine Bamugemereire, Christopher Madrama and Irene Mulyagonja, the judges unanimously agreed that Parliament acted under the law while making these amendments.
The amendment of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act of 2015, among others provided an increment in nomination fees to 3 Million shillings for those contesting for Parliamentary seats.
“In any event there is nothing in the above article that sets a time frame within which legislation may be passed by Parliament. In any event no event was provided by the petitioners to prove that Parliament contravened the Constitution or any other law made under it.”
On the claim that it was wrong for Parliament to pass this amendment without engaging Ugandans or seeking their views via a referendum, court ruled that however much this a principle of Good Governance it’s not practically possible to involve the public in legislation because it’s not a constitutional requirement.
“Court noted that it was lawful since the people (MPs) who initiated these amendments were democratically elected as people’s representatives,” the judges ruled.
The justices also noted that there was no evidence which was brought before them by the petitioner indicating that three million shillings for a Parliamentary Candidate in a multiparty Democracy is too high as to amount to infringement of the right to contest on any of the above Political positions.
“We further observe that the Constitution provides for elections under multiparty system in which Political parties have party sponsored candidates, they don’t pay fees themselves. Independent Candidates are at liberty to raise funds for campaigns as individual within the law.”