A law amending Uganda’s constitution to allow ageing leader Yoweri Museveni to extend his rule was introduced in parliament on Tuesday, 3rd October, at a session where nearly all its opponents were either barred or stayed away in protest.
Museveni, 73, has ruled Uganda since 1986. He is as yet ineligible to seek re-election in the next polls in 2021 because the existing constitution places an age ceiling of 75 on anyone aspiring to the presidency. The bill brought to parliament would remove the age hurdle.
A broad spectrum of Ugandans including the political opposition, religious leaders, rights activists and some members of the ruling party have voiced opposition to removing the age cap.
Last week, fighting broke out in parliament for two consecutive days between legislators opposed to the plan and those supporting it.
On the second day of the fighting, House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended 25 MPs who oppose the law for three sessions for unruly conduct.