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Will Ugandan MPs remove presidential age limits?

MPs from Uganda’s ruling NRM party have agreed to table a private member’s bill in parliament, proposing the removal of the presidential age limit.

If successful the bill would make President Yoweri Museveni, who is believed to be 73 years old, eligible to stand again in the next election in 2021.

President Yoweri Museveni

He has been in power since 1986 and is currently serving his fifth term in power.

The bill, which is being backed by 200 NRM MPs, seeks to amend article 102 (b) of the Uganda’s constitution, which sets the lower and upper age limits for presidential candidates at 35 and 75.

Many are speculating that the NRM, which holds a parliamentary majority, will endorse the constitutional amendment, but some in the NRM and the government denied it.

An MP who is leading the team supporting the bill says the move is “out of the realisation” that the country does not have a pool of people with leadership abilities to help the country continue on the path of development.

But another MP who opposes the move has told me she questions the rush to table a bill before the ruling party caucus has even consulted Ugandans on the amendment.

MPs say they will table the motion to present the bill before the house in a week’s time.

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