Brawls in Uganda parliament for second day over presidential age limit


There were claims that one MP even brought a gun into the house of parliament. Museveni, 73, won another five-year term in 2016, but under the current constitution-which bars presidential candidates over the age of 75 from running-he would not be able to seek re-election in 2021.

The draft legislation must be published in the government gazette before it is debated in the National Assembly.

Museveni himself has ducked the question of whether he is interested in more time in office. But critics say behind the scenes he is orchestrating the move by lawmakers to remove the last hurdle to extend his presidency, possibly to rule for life.

In 2005, a constitutional amendment was made removing the two-term limit for the presidency to allow the president to run for a third-term which he won in February previous year, even though opposition unsuccessfully contested the outcome.

Despite the disruption, the bill was passed after the leader of the parliamentary opposition, Winnie Kiiza of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), led a walk-out.

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The local media reported that it around twenty minutes for the situation to return to normalcy in Parliament. "The media must be left alone to independently inform and educate the public, including on the ongoing debates about the proposed constitutional amendment".

Ugandan security forces patrol on a street as university students protest against plans to scrap a presidential age limit from the constitution, in Kampala, September 21, 2017.

Since 1986, when Museveni took power, Ugandans have endured all manner of atrocities, including political detentions, assassinations, torture and draconian laws that are meant to suppress dissenting voices.

President Museveni, who has been in power for more than three decades, has already been accused of lying about his age in order to be deemed legally young enough to remain in power.