Members of Parliament representing Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) have agreed to initiate processes to scrap presidential age limits.
A Uganda-based journalist, Patience Atuhaire, reported that over 200 NRM MPs had agreed to table a private member’s bill in that respect.
The move is seen as part of a grand plan to allow incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to continue in office after the expiration of his current mandate in 2021.
The age limit for a presidential candidate is currently pegged at 75. Museveni, who is now 73, will be two years older than the limit by 2021 when the next presidential election is due. He won the last election in February 2016, even though the opposition contested the results.
The government in the past strongly backed its plans to scrap the age restriction for candidates despite strong opposition by political parties and civil society organisations. Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders came to power in 1986.
Uganda’s deputy attorney general, Mwesigwa Rukutana is on record to have told Reuters that the change of age limit 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.