Uganda: green light for democracy? A ruling by the Ugandan Constitutional Court has effectively quashed a law restricting political parties from participating in elections. Tom Okello reports from Kampala.

Author:Okello, Tom
Position:Around Africa
 
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It now appears that Uganda is shaping itself up for the return of political pluralism ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections slated for early 2006. The Constitutional Court's (CC) mid-November ruling came about as a result of a petition filed by opposition MPs objecting to the Political Parties and Organisations Act (PPOA), claiming it was unconstitutional. The decision requires parties to now register in the next six months in order to field candidates in the elections. The CC stated that registration would "help reduce trifling parties which were formed for financial gain and had no fixed abode or address."

The decision prompts parties to achieve the necessary legal status if they are to contest in 2006. "Any organisation which hopes to compete for political power in this country and to be accountable to its members should be a body corporate. It should be able to own property, sue and be sued in its own name", the CC said.

The requirement of registration, in spite of...

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