Ugandan Members of Parliament allied to the ruling NRM party have agreed to table a a private member’s bill in parliament, proposing to do away with a presidential age limit.
The bill, if successful, would give 73-year-old President Yoweri Museveni the green light to seek re-election in the 2021 polls.
The upper age limit for presidential candidates in the East African nation is currently set at 75 years, meaning if the clause remains, Museveni will not be eligible to vie in the next election.
The president, who has been in power since 1986, is serving his fifth term, making him one of the longest serving leaders in Africa.
The bill reportedly has the backing of around 200 NRM MPs.
Museveni’s party has an overwhelming majority in the national assembly, and a bill to remove the age limit is expected to pass when the procedural process starts. It’s not clear however when the process would start.
The bill however does not only focus on the upper age limit. It goes on to seek the scrapping of the current lower age limit too, meaning anyone aged 18 years and above can run for both parliament and the presidency.
Critics have however opposed this move, accusing the president of plotting to cling on to power for life.
The proposal follow in the footsteps of neighbouring Rwanda, where a referendum was held to allow President Paul Kagame seek re-election in this year’s poll, and potentially allow him rule until 2034.