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Report: Uganda

Ugandan MPs move to limit presidential terms

Reuters/Thomas Mukoya
Text by: Tonny Singoro in Kampala
3 min

Ugandan MPs are moving to limit the term of office of the president, reversing a constitutional change made in 2005. The move's supporters come from both the ruling party and the opposition.

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The tabling of the motion was provoked by President Yoweri Museveni’s unwillingness to state clearly whether he would run for office again in 2016.

Gerald Garuhanga, a youth member of parliament, told RFI said that Uganda needs change and, as the country prepare to celebrate 50 years, it will be the best gift that parliamentarians can give back to the community.

Uganda has never had a peaceful transition since independence and it is the high time that Uganda can have it, he said.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi told reporters that MPs want to restore the term limit.

The MPs have argued that their is a genuine move, proposed in good faith and to correct an error committed in 2005 when the term limits were scrapped at the prompting of the president’s supporters.

During recent Easter prayers Kampala's Catholic archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Bishop David Zac Niringiye and Orthodox Metropolitan Lwanga urged Museveni to plan a smooth exit, describing it as the best gift he could give citizens.

Ruling party MPs were given 1,520 euros to support the 2005 constitutional change, paving the way for Museveni’s reelection in the 2006 general election. The move was supported by 222 votes to 37 and only two members abstained.

In east Africa, all countries have term limits on presidential office, with the exception of Uganda where Museveni is facing challenges to his leadership from within and outside his own party.

Procedure for private members bill:

  • A private members bill shall be introduced first by way of motion to which shall be attached the draft of the bill
  • If the motion is carried, the printing and publication of the bill in the gazette shall be the responsibility of the clerk of parliament.
  • Following the publication of the bill in the gazette, the progress of the bill shall be the same as that followed in respect of a government bill.

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