12 September 2017

Uganda's 'Age Limit' Debate Takes Dramatic Turn

Photo: Alex Esagala/Daily Monitor
MPs at the meeting at Parliament on Tuesday. Photo by Alex Esagala

Reports just in indicate that the debate on age limits on the Uganda presidency took a new turn Tuesday morning when a meeting of Members of Parliament (MPs) of the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) resolved to move a private members bill to remove the age limit.

Reports from parliament indicate that the meeting that was initially called by the Chief Whip "to discuss the land amendment bill", turned to the age-limit debate and the motion was overwhelmingly supported by the ruling party members. The same morning, taxi drivers and city vendors had marched to parliament calling for the lifting of the term limits for the presidency.

Article 102 (B) of the constitution sets the age range for president at 35 to 75 years of age, and Museveni who will be 76 in 2021 cannot run for the presidency again - unless the constitution is amended by the MPs.

The proposal by the MPs is wide-raning, 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.

Last year, Uganda's Parliament differed indefinitely a related "age limit" motion to amend the constitution.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had then ruled that Nakifuma MP Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko was not granted leave to move a private members bill, whose intention was to lift age limits of judges and the electoral commissioners.

#NTVNews :NRM MPs convene at Parliament to discuss and take position on the presidential age limit .Details to follow.@ntvuganda pic.twitter.com/FpnDatlF5s

-- Herbert Zziwa (@zziwaherbert) September 12, 2017

Taxi drivers in Kla preparing to walk to Parliament in support of the removal of the presidential age limit@UrbanTVUganda @newvisionwire pic.twitter.com/9cp56DRixP

-- namuwaya jalia (@namuwayajalia) September 12, 2017

State Minister Evelyn Anite arriving for #AgeLimit removal campaign launch #Tugikwatemu pic.twitter.com/fH33vw10Mg

-- Sadab Kitatta (@sadabkitatta79) September 12, 2017

HAPPENING: NRM MPs are meeting at Parliament to launch the road-map to abolish the presidential age limit #NBSUpdates pic.twitter.com/XbJxU6tIkv

-- NBS Television (@nbstv) September 12, 2017

"Chairperson, when you invited us here, I didn't know the meeting was about article 102. I believe this is a pompous discussion" #NBSUpdates pic.twitter.com/TtZ86bzjTV

-- NBS Television (@nbstv) September 12, 2017

BREAKING NEWS NRM MPs, Ministers formally launch their campaign for the removal of the Constitutional Age Limit @observerug

-- Sadab Kitatta (@sadabkitatta79) September 12, 2017

Igara East MP Raphael Magyezi is chief mover of the bill wc once passed will allow 18 yr olds to stand 4 president, LC-V chairmanship pic.twitter.com/x8yOY7uVQ1

-- Sadab Kitatta (@sadabkitatta79) September 12, 2017

Just IN: NRM MPs hold a constitutive meeting to table a private members bill removing the age limit from the constitution.

-- Parliament Watch (@pwatchug) September 12, 2017

Hon Monica Amoding publicly declined to support the motion on grounds that the agenda of the meeting was not clear #NTVNews https://t.co/s5ZbBs7JEO

-- NTV UGANDA (@ntvuganda) September 12, 2017

Kampala vendors and traders ask @KagutaMuseveni to recontest in 2021.#NBSUpdates@nbstv @nyamadon pic.twitter.com/Q60m7cMwwd

-- Nabaasa Innocent💙 (@NabaasaInnocent) September 12, 2017


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