As the debate on the removal of presidential age limit takes shape, findings from a study by Afrobarometer indicate that fewer than 25 per cent of Ugandans want the limit scrapped to allow Uganda’s three-decade president Yoweri Museveni to extend his rule.
Now 72, Museveni will be past the 75 years age limit stipulated by Article 102 (b) of the east African nation’s constitution, at the next poll in 2021.
A huge 75 per cent of the study’s respondents were against the scrapping of the age limit while 24 supported it.
Afrobarometer measures citizens’ attitudes on democracy and governance. The survey was conducted between December 26, 2016 and January 8, 2017.
Some 1,200 Ugandans were sampled from the five regions of the country, villages and towns.
Museveni ascended to Uganda’s top seat with a sworn contempt for “leaders who overstay in power”. But by the end of his current term in 2021, he will have been president for 35 years.
Attempts to bring a motion to scrap the age limits before Parliament are being whispered.
Museveni says he will not change the constitution.
“I cannot change the Constitution because I do not have that power,” he told Al jazeera in an interview aired recently.
But his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party MPs might think otherwise.
What’s more, Museveni’s track record either means he is a changed man – or betrays his recent allusion to his plans to respect the constitution.
In 2005, he had his way after parliament scrapped the term limit. The MPs were reportedly bribed with Shs 5m (about $ 1,400), each.