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70% of MPs Want Presidential Age Limit to Remain

The debate on the removal of presidential age limit to allow three-decade president Yoweri Museveni stand for reelection in 2021 is building up especially after it emerged that the issue will be one of those to be handled in proposed constitutional amendments.

Minister Kahinda Otafiire has been quoted by local press as saying that the presidential age limit was subject to amendment since it was not one of God’s commandments.

This is a test for MPs. Will they decide to keep the presidential age limit or will they scrap it like their counterparts in the 5th Parliament did.

Constitutional Affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire is anything to go by.

For now, the only barrier in Museveni’s quest for another term is his age. He will be over 75 by the time his current term expires in 2021 according to Article 102 (b) of the Constitution which bars those less than 35 and those over 75 to stand for president.

Results from a study by Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy on Uganda (CCEDU) on Parliamentary Attitudes to lifting Presidential age limit give us some clue.

Conducted between September 16 and October 7, the study sampled some 185 MPs.

“In this survey we conducted via telephone, 73 per cent of MPs said they would not support a Constitutional amendment eliminating age limits for presidential candidates. We also found out that 77 per cent of our MPs want appointment of commissioners to the Independent Electoral Commission reviewed,” CCEDU chairperson Livingstone Sewanyana said during the launch of the study report last October.

However, MPs’ attitudes might have changed and the legislators might vote differently if the bill to scrap presidential age limit came to the floor of parliament.