AFRICA/UGANDA - "The victory of Museveni is to be contested in Ugandan courts before turning to international ones", says an eminent jurist

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 elections  

Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - "Even a stolen election is not an excuse for violence": is the appeal launched by Julia Sebutinde, a judge of the International Court of Justice, after outgoing President Yoweri Museveni was declared re-elected in the elections held in Uganda last week (see Fides 19/02/2016). According to the electoral commission, Museveni obtained 60.8 percent of the votes against 35.4 percent for his opponent, Kizza Besigye.
The latter, who was arrested and released several times during the election campaign and during the voting, has called for an international verification of the election results, which he says is marred by serious irregularities.
According to Judge Sebutinde, before resorting to an international judicial body it is necessary to pass through Ugandan justice. "We would like to see the losers at all levels exhaust the domestic remedies in the courts of law", said Ms. Sebutinde, who launched an appeal for the local judicial system "to resolve the disputes in an impartial and satisfactory manner". Only after that fails, can one say "we have done everything we can possibly do to resolve matters peacefully".
International election observers have said the elections lack sufficient transparency to be considered truly correct. In Kampala, according to reports sent to Agenzia Fides, there were no major incidents but the situation remains tense. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/02/2016)