Ugandan MPs want Presidential age limit scrapped to allow Museveni rule longer

The Bill, if successful, would give Museveni the green light to seek re-election in the 2021 polls.

Members of Parliament from Uganda’s ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM), on Tuesday morning resolved to move a private members bill in parliament that proposes to remove the Presidential age limit.

The Bill, if successful, would give 73 year old President Yoweri Museveni the green light to seek re-election in the 2021 polls.

Museveni will be 76 years old at the next election in 2021 and, since Article 102 (B) of the constitution sets the age range for president at 35 to 75 years of age, he cannot run for presidency again.

The president, who has been in power since 1986, is serving his fifth term, making him one of the longest serving leaders in Africa.

The bill reportedly has the backing of around 200 NRM MPs. The proposal by the MPs is wide-ranging, and even aims to lower the bar of 35 to be removed so that anyone aged 18 years and above can run for both parliament and the presidency.

NRM plans to present the bill to parliament later this week and given that the party has an overwhelming majority in the national assembly, it is expected to pass when the procedural process starts.

Critics have however opposed this move, accusing the president of plotting to cling on to power for life.

The proposal follow in the footsteps of neighbouring Rwanda, where a referendum was held to allow President Paul Kagame seek re-election in this year’s poll, and potentially allow him rule until 2034.

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