Ugandan presidential age limit challenged in court

Ugandan presidential age limit challenged in court

afp

Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni could be re-elected in 2021 for a sixth term under the Constitutional Court's decision to remove an age limit for presidential candidates.

Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni could be re-elected in 2021 for a sixth term under the Constitutional Court's decision to remove an age limit for presidential candidates.

The Supreme Court in Uganda has started Tuesday to hear a petition to challenge a constitutional court decision and to lift an age limit of 75 for presidential candidates.

According to critics of the decision, President Yoweri Museveni (74) could seek re-election for a sixth term in 2021.

A bill that abolished the limit was signed into law in December 2017 after a chaotic passage through parliament in which MPS dealt with fisticuffs. The Constitutional Court confirmed the change to a ruling in July 2018.

Opposition lawmaker Winnie Kiiza and activist Kassim Male Mabirizi of the Uganda Law Society filed the petition against the decision of the Constitutional Court.

They want the court to decide whether the amendment violates the constitution, because it "jumped through parliament in the midst of violence and chaos, where members of the opposition were arrested or beaten by police and army," lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi of Kiiza told AFP.

"The other element of our appeal is that the court decides whether the president, who has been elected before the constitutional amendment that abolishes the age limit of 75 years, must remain in office after a period of 75 years," he added.

After seizing power at the head of a rebel army in 1986, Museveni is the only president most Ugandans have known in a country where the average age is less than 16 years.

In 2005, Museveni abolished a presidential limit of two years, allowing him to continue working.

Young Ugandans have recently been stimulated by Bobi Wine, the star of the pop star, who took the lead in protests against the amendment on the age limit and quickly became a thorn in the side of the government.

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