By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE –
THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has upheld the election of Patriotic Front (PF) Mkushi South Member of Parliament Davies Chisopa as the duly elected parliamentarian in the 2016 elections.
A panel of five judges dismissed an appeal by United Party for National Development (UPND) losing candidate Sidney Chisanga, in that all his six grounds of appeal lacked merit in their entirety.
Delivering the ruling on behalf of the bench (comprising Judges Hildah Chibomba, Anna Sitali, Enock Mulembe and Palan Mulonda), Ms Justice Mungeni Mulenga said the regularities claimed by Mr Chisanga only related to one polling station.
Ms Justice Mulenga said that the High Court findings that the two certificates of authority were in substantial conformity with the Electoral Process Act and the findings could not be faulted.
Ms Justice Mulenga said the two regularities, only pertained to one polling station, which had a total number of 117 registered voters and that the number of votes were important in assessing the effect of irregularities as indicated in the Ugandan presidential petition of Besigye Vs Museveni.
She said that the difference in votes between the two parties was 97 and even if the two votes that were the subject of irregularities on the certificate of authority were to be subtracted, the result would not be affected as Mr Chisopa would still emerge as winner.
“Nullification of the election results based on the irregularities in issue, as argued by the appellant, would be deviating from the spirit of Article 97 (4 ) of the Act,” she said.
Ms Justice Mulenga said it would defy logic to accede to the appellant’s position that in an account of the irregularities relating to two special vitea in respect of Kampoko polling station, the election result could no longer reasonably be said to present the true free choice and will of the majority of voters when it was clear that not only was the election result not affected but the two votes in issue were in substantial conformity with the Act and were actually valid in terms of section 116 of the Act.
Mr Chisanga had appealed the high court decision that declared Mr Chisopa was the duly elected MP for Mkushi South.
He was alleging electoral malpractices.