Uganda govt pushes for scrapping of presidential age limit

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Uganda's long-time President Yoweri Museveni adjusts his hat as he attends an election rally at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, Uganda Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye, in a close race with Museveni, said Tuesday he does not believe the election will be free and fair. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Uganda's long-time President Yoweri Museveni adjusts his hat as he attends an election rally at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, Uganda Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye, in a close race with Museveni, said Tuesday he does not believe the election will be free and fair. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Uganda’s long-time President Yoweri Museveni adjusts his hat as he attends an election rally at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, Uganda Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye, in a close race with Museveni, said Tuesday he does not believe the election will be free and fair. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Plans to scrap presidential age limit for candidates in Uganda have been strongly backed by the country’s government despite strong opposition by political parties and civil organizations.

According to the country’s deputy attorney general, Mwesigwa Rukutana, the change of age limit, 75, is under examination by cabinet as part of the planned changes to the constitution.

“If anybody has been serving very well and the population thinks he still has a lot to contribute he should not be precluded from doing so merely because he has clocked 75 … as long as people are voting, age of the candidate doesn’t matter,” he said.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni is now 73 meaning he will be two years older than the limit in the 2021 election.

Members of parliament have been called out to reject the proposal which many describe as dangerous for the country with civil organizations calling it a ploy to allow Museveni to stay on as president.

Some youth groups of the opposition National Resistance Movement had also launched a campaign this week against the scrapping of the age limit, the africanews.com reports. The youths were however arrested in the process for unlawful assembly.

A constitutional amendment was made in 2015 removing the two-term limit for the president to allow Museveni to contest for elections.

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