Uganda officially proposes law to extent Museveni reign

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Lawmakers in Uganda introduced a bill that will allow President Yoweri Museveni to extend his reign in power on Tuesday.

Raphael Magyezi presented the law at a parliament session where almost all opponents of the bill were either barred or stayed away in protest. The introduction means a parliamentary debate is all that stands in the way of Museveni running for a sixth term as president in the 2021 election.

Museveni steps closer

With the bill already introduced to parliament, the committee is now set to debate the proposal and vote on approving it. Museveni will need at least two-thirds of lawmakers to vote in favour of the move and political tension in parliament is high.

Last week, lawmakers exchanged blows in two separate fist fights over the proposal, signifying how important the issue is to opposition lawmakers – most of whom were absent on Tuesday when the bill was introduced.

A similar absence when parliament comes to vote on the bill would almost guarantee a victory for Museveni.

President for life

If parliament votes to make changes to the country’s constitution, Museveni will be free to run for a sixth term in power during the 2021 elections. The president has already been in power for three decades and the only hurdle stopping him from extending his reign is an age limit in the constitution that states presidential candidates must be no older than 75 years old.

Removing the age limit wouldn’t be the first time Museveni has managed to get the constitution changed in his favour. Until 2005, any one president was only able to rule for a maximum of two terms but this was removed from the constitution in time for him to secure a third term in power.

Critics accuse the president of attempting to set himself up for a lifetime in power.

 

Featured image: By DoD photo by Glenn Fawcett – https://www.flickr.com/photos/secdef/9970165616/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38157584

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.