MBARARA — The High Court in Mbarara has dismissed with costs an election petition filed by a former Isingiro West Constituency Member of Parliament seat contestant in Isingiro District citing lack of sufficient evidence.
Mr. Anthony Tumwesigye of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) filed a petition contesting the victory of Reuben Arinaitwe (Independent), citing election malpractice, non-compliance with the electoral laws, intimidation of voters among others and wanted the latter’s victory nullified.
Mr. Tumwesigye also sued the Electoral Commission accusing it of non-compliance with the electoral laws.
Mr. Arinaitwe’s lawyer, Dr. James Akampumuza and Electoral Commission asked Court to dismiss the petition with costs on grounds that the election was freely and fairly conducted and Mr. Arinaitwe was duly elected the winner since he polled the highest number of votes.
In his ruling, presiding Judge, Justice Moses Kazibwe Kawumi dismissed the case with costs on grounds that the evidence presented to Court was unsatisfactory.
Justice Kazibwe ruled that Mr. Arinaitwe was validly elected as the Member of Parliament for Isingiro West Constituency.
“The first respondent [Arinaitwe] was validly elected as the Member of Parliament for Isingiro West Constituency. The petition is dismissed with costs. The first respondent is awarded 80% of the taxed costs and the second respondent shall be paid 20% of the taxed costs,” he ruled, urging whoever is not satisfied with his judgment to appeal within 14 days.
The EC declared Mr Arinaitwe winner of the January 14 election after garnering 7994 votes against Tumwesigye who managed 7795. A difference of 17 votes separated the two.
Mr. Tumwesigye filed an application for a recount of votes in the Chief Magistrate’s Court but the petition was dismissed.