Benard Oundo, the presidential candidate on the East Africa law society (EALS) has petitioned the president of the EALS over abuse of the process for the conduct of elections for presidency of the EALS.
According to his letter to the President of EALS Mr. Willy Rubeya, Oundo expressed his dissatisfaction in the conduct of the Uganda Law Society (ULS) in the election process.
“I wish to formally register my dissatisfaction with the conduct by the Uganda Law Society of the election process for the position of the president, East Africa Law society. There appears to be un due interference by the current ULS leadership in what is supposed to be a free and fair election process of our regional institution of repute.” Read part of the letter dated 11th November.
Oundo says the ULS informed its membership of the forthcoming elections by email dated 1st October for the governing council of the East Africa Law Society (EALS). By the same email, the ULS circulated a letter dated 29th September from the EALS which called upon members interested in the position of president EALS to express their interest by 27th October 2020.
“On 10th November 2020, with just 7 days to the election date, the ULS decided to arbitrarily extend the nomination deadline to 11th November 2020.” he adds.
He says he was informed about the decision to extend the nomination deadline and election date and expressed his reservations on the same.
In his letter, Oundo questions why the ULS decided to extend the deadline with only seven dates to the election date.
“Rules regarding elections are made to level the playing field and to ensure fairness and transparency of the process. Why then would the ULS leadership extend the deadline that had already passed and with only seven days left to the election date? What is the rationale of a one-day extension of the nomination deadline unless it is meant to favor a specific person?” he pointed out.
Oundo says that the approach that was taken by the ULS undermines the principles of fairness, justice and the rule of law they espouse as a society.
“We cannot call ourselves custodians of the rule of law if we don’t practice the same conduct of our affairs. I am concerned about the integrity and transparency of the process of the upcoming elections that will be held on 17th November 2020.” He said.
He further called upon the EALS to formally pronounce itself on this matter, inform the EALS membership of the steps that it is taking to ensure that elections of the governing council are conducted in a matter that is transparent, free and fair and also circulate the electoral roll containing the names, images and email address of the members that will be used for purposes of the vital election.