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Age limit bill sent to Legal and parliamentary affairs committee

Magyezi moves a motion to change the constitution. FILE PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Igara West Member of Parliament Raphael Magyezi Tuesday tabled the con­tro­ver­sial Con­sti­tu­tion Amend­ment Bill 2017 for first read­ing as he seeks to remove the presidential age limit that is cur­rently capped at 75 among other things.

The draft bill would pro­vide for the time within which to hold pres­i­den­tial, Par­lia­men­tary and local gov­ern­ment coun­cil elec­tions.

The Con­sti­tu­tion (Amend­ment) Bill 2017 also seeks to in­crease the num­ber of days within which the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion is re­quired to hold a fresh elec­tion where a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion has been nul­li­fied; and for re­lated mat­ters.

The other ob­ject of the bill is to amend the Con­sti­tu­tion; to pro­vide for el­i­gi­bil­ity re­quire­ments for a per­son to be elected as Dis­trict Chair­per­son which is also currently capped at 30 for lower age and 75 upper age respectively.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has forwarded the Bill to the House Committee on legal and parliamentary affairs for scrutiny, and the committee is expected to meet the justice and constitutional affairs minister and other stakeholders to get their views before submitting its report to Parliament.

Presiding over the pre­dom­i­nantly par­ti­san parliament due the ab­sence of the Op­po­si­tion in the house, Kadaga emphasized the need for the committee to give ut­most con­sid­er­a­tion of citizens’ interests while de­bat­ing and con­sid­er­ing the Bill.

“I want to remind you honorable members that this matter touches articles; 1and 2 of the constitution, the people must be involved in this deliberation,” said Kadaga.

Article 1 of the Uganda constitution states that all power belongs to the people who shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with this Constitution while Article (2) states that Without limiting the effect of clause (I) of this article all authority in the State emanates from the people of Uganda; and the people shall be governed through their will and consent.

The bill that is seen as a significant step towards securing a free run for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election in 2021 last week, it cul­mi­nated into a two day brawl in Par­lia­ment.

Museveni could become the first direct beneficiary of the proposed amendment given the fact that currently at 73, he is not eligible for re-election in 2021 as he will be above 75 years.

Magyezi argued that article 102(b) in the Uganda constitution is discriminatory and against the notion ofinclusiveness since it bars people below 35 years and above 75 years from running for presidency.

Constitution Amendment No. 2 Bill 2017 by The Independent Magazine on Scribd

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