elections

Last minute Kenyan court order overturns ban on manual voters’ register for polls

Kenya’s high court stepped in, just days before that country’s presidential polls of 9 August, to overturn a decision of Kenya’s Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission, the body that runs elections. The commission had decided to bar the use of printed registers of voters as a backup to the electronic system by which the elections will be run. That decision was contained in a letter that the commission had written to one of the contending parties.

Read judgment

In the last days before Kenya’s August 9 elections, the high court made a crucial intervention: the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBE) was ordered to permit the use of the manual voters’ register as a backup to its electronic system.

Uganda's Internet closure during elections challenged at East African Court of Justice

Uganda’s government, which closed down social media and Internet access during the country’s January 2021 elections, is far from the only state to take such action over the time of national polls. In fact, research indicates that Senegal recently became the 63rd country to restrict social media access since 2015. But in the case of Uganda, the East Africa Law Society has decided to take action, launching a challenge in the East African Court of Justice.

Read founding papers of the East Africa Law Society

Like the East African Community (EAC) itself, the East Africa Law Society (EALS) aims to promote regional integration. In particular, it aims to support the East African Community and its organs and institutions in the promotion of good governance, human rights and the rule of law.

'Help us', Tanzania's opposition urges African Court

Elections in Tanzania at the end of October passed with little comment from outside that country. And since the declaration of John Magufuli as president, Tanzanian politics have been relegated to a non-issue in most other parts of the world. But not for long: disputed aspects of the polls are about to be ventilated in court even though legal challenges to aspects of the election are not allowed in Tanzania’s own courts. Activists have taken their dispute over the way the elections were conducted to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Unsuccessful in the recent elections and unable to express its concerns over fairness and allegations of electoral malpractice in the domestic courts, Tanzania’s opposition Alliance for Change and Transparency Wazalendo have asked the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for help.

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