Judicial Politics: Election Petitions and Election Fraud in Uganda

Jude Murison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper examines judicial politics in Uganda after the 2011 elections, when a number of election petitions were filed against incumbent parliamentarians alleging electoral fraud and malpractice. The paper argues that Uganda has the structures and procedures in place to enable election petitions to allow for redress when election malpractice has occurred, but this is more likely to occur in the High Court than the Supreme Court. By briefly examining the 2001 and 2006 presidential and parliamentary election petitions, the paper shows that the Supreme Court, which hears presidential election petitions, acknowledged voting irregularities, yet was unwilling to rule against the president. In parliamentary election petitions held before the High Court during the same period, judges were not immune to annulling the election results. Following the 2011 elections, no presidential election petitions were made, but over 100 parliamentary election petitions were filed. Many of the High Court judgements on the 2011 election petitions gave a degree of optimism that due process is being followed since a number of petitions were upheld and MPs removed from their seats. These included some high-profile politicians. However, as the Court of Appeal begins to overturn some of these High Court decisions, perhaps this optimism will be short-lived.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-508
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Eastern African Studies
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Constitution
  • Uganda
  • Election Petition
  • Judical Politics
  • Executive


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