22 September 2017

Uganda: Furore Over Uganda Presidential Age-Limit

Kampala — UGANDAN must end their attempts to silence people opposed to scrapping the presidential age limit, a human rights organisation has said. The call by Amnesty International follows the arrests of the mayor of the capital city Kampala, Erias Lukwago, for allegedly preparing to protest against the proposed change. Some opposition MPs were blocked from accessing parliament to participate in the debate, which has now been postponed. Demonstrations against the change were also banned. "It is ironic and absurd that as the bill is tabled in parliament, the government is blocking citizens from debating the issue," said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa,the Horn and the Great Lakes. Kagari said reported raids were desperate attempts to harass and intimidate civil society organizations. The offices of the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies and ActionAid were raided. "The authorities must stop these raids immediately and ensure that all confiscated materials are returned." The ruling National Resistance Movement party wants to amend the constitution to remove the presidential age limit of 75 years of age. The move is widely seen as a way of allowing incumbent President Yoweri Museveni (73) to stand for President again in 2021. He has been in power since 1986.


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