Ugandan parliament begins debate on removing presidential age limit

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The Ugandan parliament on Monday started debate on the controversial bill that seeks to remove a presidential age limit.

The bill seeks to scrap the 75-year cap for candidates, and is seen to be meant to allow President Yoweri Museveni seek another term in the 2021 elections.

The law as is, would bar the 73-year-old from running in the next elections as he will be over 75 years old.

The bill has support from legislators allied to the ruling NRM party, which holds the majority in parliament.

The MPs are expected to debate and complete the voting process on the bill before they break off for the festive holiday recess later this week.

“It is expected that we shall debate today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday). Let us be tolerant to each other during this debate. At the end members will vote for and against the bill,” Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura on Sunday said the police and military have been deployed around the capital Kampala and major towns to prevent any violence ahead of the debate.

Uganda’s parliamentarians engaged in a physical brawl in September this year over the introduction of the bill.

Opposition MPs accuse Museveni of using the bill to cling on to power beyond the constitutionally allowed limit.

Some members of the ruling NRM however said they will support the bill because the East African country has no better leader at the moment to replace Museveni.

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