Uganda introduces bill to remove presidential age limit


Uganda introduces bill to remove presidential age limit

Chaotic scenes erupted in Uganda's Parliament as MPs debated the contentious removal of the Presidential age limit.

The fracas came about after the ruling party introduced a motion that would remove an age cap of 75 years on the country's President from the constitution - a move that would allow Mr Museveni to stand for re-election.

Footage from the legislative chamber showed some opposition members of parliament being physically manhandled and dragged out by plainclothes security officials.

Removing the presidential age barrier in the country, which now stands at 75, would allow for 73-year-old Museveni to remain in power beyond 2021 when the country's next elections are scheduled.

Members of Parliament (MPs) shouted, shoved, threw punches and lobbed documents in a fight between ruling party politicians and those from the opposition.

Uganda's two major privately owned TV stations, including a local unit of Kenya's Nation Media Group, and some radio stations carried Tuesday's parliamentary session live.

The move to jettison the age limit is widely seen as an effort by Museveni to extend his rule.

The motion passed, parliament communications director Chris Obore told Reuters, adding that Magyezi would have about a month to submit the bill to a first reading in the House.

The country's main opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye, Museveni's main political rival, has often been detained, put under house arrest and even charged with treason. The current age-limits are preventing him from standing for another term, and that is the primary reason for the amendment of the constitution. He has been in power for more than three decades.

Robert Ssempala, with the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda), said banning live broadcasts would "shut out Ugandans and keep them in the dark on the age limit debate".



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