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Uganda moves to bar detained opposition leader from presidential poll
Cat : Democracy & H-Rights
Date : 2005-12-11 16:39:31                      Reader : 265

In Malysia Anwar Ibrahim was accused as homosexuel !! In Yemen the opposition parties by presenting a common program were accused in official press as traitors!! In Egypt opposition main party is outlawed since 60 years!!

So when we will have a respected serious opposition accepted by the Government?!

Associated France Press (AFP) 10/12/2005
Uganda moves to bar detained opposition leader from presidential poll
Ugandan authorities have sought to bar detained opposition leader Kizza Besigye from challenging President Yoweri Museveni in next year's election, in a move Besigye's supporters denounced as political and vowed to fight.
Just three days after the interior ministry ruled that Besigye would be allowed to submit candidacy papers to the national election board, it emerged that Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya had instructed the panel not to accept them.
"It is my considered opinion that Dr Besigye's nomination would, at this point in time, be tainted with illegalities," Makubuya wrote in a letter Tuesday to the Ugandan Electoral Commission (EC).
"His nomination, therefore, should not proceed," he said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.
Makubuya also wrote that the charges against Besigye, who is accused of treason, terrorism, illegal weapons possession and rape before civilian and military courts, disqualified him from standing in the March polls.
"His conduct is the subject of serious criminal proceedings (and) although he is presumed innocent until proved guilty, it certainly cannot be said that he is on the same level of innocence as that of the other presidential candidates," Makubuya said.
"In the event that the commission nominates him next week and subsequently he is convicted of treason ... the commission will face legal complications with respect to his candidature," he wrote.
Besigye, the leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), is widely seen as Museveni's main rival in polls set for March and has denied the charges against him, claiming they are politically motivated and aimed at preventing him from running.
His arrest last month -- three weeks after returning to Uganda from four years of self-imposed exile in South Africa -- sparked deadly riots in Kampala and has raised concerns about Museveni's commitment to democracy.
Besigye, Museveni's former physician who fled the country in 2001 when he was accused of conspiring to overthrow the government after losing the last presidential election to his ex-patient, has vowed to fight Museveni's "dictatorship".
Museveni, who earlier this year engineered the scrapping of constitutional term limits that would have barred him from seeking re-election, has denied the charges and said he hoped Besigye would be acquitted so he could beat him again at the polls.
And on Tuesday, Uganda's interior ministry said Besigye would be allowed to file nomination papers, noting he had not yet been convicted of any crime and was thus still eligible to stand.
The attorney general, however, made clear the government is opposed to the candidacy of Besigye who he said in his opinion is "not a fit person to be president because he openly encourages rebellion against a duly elected government."
Ogenga Latigo, Besigye's deputy, said the FDC would fight the attorney general's move in court before the December 15 deadline for presidential nominations.
"We shall not allow the nominations to take place without Kizza Besigye," he told AFP. "We shall go to court, we shall not be intimidated. We know what the law says about the status of our candidate."
Besigye has pleaded not guilty to the treason and rape charges he faces at Uganda's High Court but has refused to enter a plea on terrorism and weapons counts before the military tribunal whose jurisdiction he is challenging as he is a civilian.

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