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Ugandan clergy wants referendum to decide presidential age limit

Ugandan clergy wants referendum to decide presidential age limit

Uganda

The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda has appealed to the state to allow the decision on the presidential age limit to be made by a referendum.

The council made up of seven heads of the major religious bodies in the country said in a statement last week that the people should be allowed to determine their destiny.

“The debate on the removal of the presidential age limit is not a partisan issue to be monopolised by politicians and/ or Members of Parliament … people have divergent views on the matter, hence the need to soberly listen to all sides without favouring one side and intimidating the other,” they said.

They proposed that a National Dialogue be held on the age limit which should require a referendum to be removed.

They called on the security agencies to “stop harassing one side and favouring another (i.e. those for lifting the age limit and those opposed to it)”.

The Council also called on President Yoweri Museveni to “assert true statesmanship on this matter”.

Members of Parliament of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and some independent MPs passed a resolution to debate the removal of the presidential age limit currently pegged at 75.

If the amendment is approved, President Yoweri Museveni can contest in the next elections.

In 2005, a constitutional amendment was made removing the two-term limit for the presidency to allow the president to run for a third-term which he won.

Museveni, who is now 73, will be two years older than the current age limit in the 2021 election.

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