21 September 2017

Uganda: Parliament Defers Age Limit Debate

Photo: Daily Monitor
Police deploy in Kampala ahead of presidential age limit demonstrations.

The Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who is presiding over the on-going sitting, says he and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga conferred but decided that they needed more time to understand the two notices of motion and other notices.

Ms Kadaga returned from an overseas trip on Wednesday, ahead of what was expected to be a crucial debate on Thursday on a plan to scrap the presidential age limit.

The Caucus of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and later the Cabinet resolved on and endorsed back-to-back a proposal for Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi to seek leave of Parliament to table a Private Member's Bill to, among other things, amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution. The provision caps the upper age for a prospective President at 75 years.

In his communication to a House fully packed in anticipation of the age limit debate, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah says one of the notices they received was accompanied with a motion while the other was not.

There are also other notices submitted to the Speaker's office which are being studied.

Mr Oulanyah says they cannot allow a matter for debate in Parliament to be "sneaked" outside the specified procedures because the Rules of Procedure require members to be informed in time to allow them to fully prepare and debate.

He says the MPs will, at an "appropriate time", likely next week, be informed of the determination by the Speaker's office on the notices of motion.

The deputy Speaker also criticises the siege by police and the army, which resulted in the Speaker and his deputy accessing Parliament through improvised back entrances. The "blockade", he says, is unnecessary but he urges lawmakers to conduct themselves and speak responsibly to deny outsiders a reason to interfere with parliamentary business.

Ms Winnie Kiiza, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, says security forces went overboard, besieging homes of political leaders, arresting others including the Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and brutalisation of Makerere University students one of whom was injured by a rubber bullet.

The MPs are currently debating a proposal by LoP Kiiza to have the House adjourned to allow members to take care of security concerns.

More on This

MPs in Shouting Match

Tempers flared in Parliament as MPs turned yesterday's sitting into a shouting match even as the House leadership… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 The Monitor. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.