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    Uganda: Museveni signs 'controversial age limit bill' into law

    APA-Kampala (Uganda)

    Uganda's President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has signed into law the controversial constitutional amendment Bill passed by Ugandan legislators on 20th December 2017.

    This was confirmed by Chris Obore, the Ugandan parliament's Director of Communication, in a statement on Tuesday morning. According to Obore, Museveni signed the bill on December 27th 2017, just seven days after it was passed by the parliament.

    The presidential assent now means that Article 102(b) of the constitution which capped the age limit at 35 minimum and 75 maximum required of anyone to stand for presidency has been removed from the constitution.

    The bill, however, restores presidential term limits which had been removed in a 2005 constitutional amendment that paved the way for President Museveni, in power since 1986, to contest again after his two five-year terms had expired.

    This means Museveni can now stand for a fifth term in 2021, which would have been impossible without the amendment as he would have turned 76 years.

    In his end of year message, Museveni welcomed the passing of the 'age limit' bill, and praised the 317 legislators who supported the amendments saying they played a great role when the country was at a crossroads.

    Museveni compared the 317 MPs to the role played by the 27 fighters who started the war that brought him to power 31 years ago.
    He rubbished the argument that age limit removal would create room for his life presidency, saying they are “uninformed evil schemers who do not want Uganda and Africa to succeed”.

    It would be recalled that on 20th December, a section of legislators voted to remove the 35 years minimum and 75 years maximum cap for anyone intending to stand for the presidency.

    A total of 317 MPs voted in favour of the bill, while 97 voted against it. Two members abstained from the vote.

    The legislators who opposed to the amendment said it was tabled in bad faith as it sought to entrench Museveni's rule, which would have otherwise ended in 2021 as he would be 76 years and ineligible to stand for the presidency.


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