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Legal Committee Defers 'Age Limit' Bill for 2 Weeks :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Legal Committee Defers 'Age Limit' Bill for 2 Weeks

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of parliament has resolved to defer the consideration of the presidential age limit Bill for two weeks. Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi last week tabled the Constitutional Amendment No. 2 Bill, 2017 before parliament and Speaker Kadaga referred the bill to the legal committee for scrutiny. The bill seeks to, among others; repeal Article 102b of the constitution to remove presidential age limits.

Audio 2

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of parliament has resolved to defer the consideration of the presidential age limit Bill for two weeks.

 

This was one of the decisions taken in the committee's closed-door meeting today that sought to plan on how to proceed with the bill.

 

Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi last week tabled the Constitutional (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017 before parliament and Speaker Kadaga referred the bill to the legal committee for scrutiny.

 

The bill seeks to, among others; repeal Article 102(b) of the constitution to remove presidential age limits. The article states 35 and 75 as minimum and maximum age for the holder of a presidential office, something Magyezi says is discriminatory against those above 75 as well as those below 35.

 

URN learnt that in a meeting chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth, MPs agreed to first embark on individual consultations on the matter in their respective constituencies since parliament will not be in session. Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga yesterday adjourned parliament sittings indefinitely.

 

“A lot of intrigue among the MPs was cited in the meeting and it was agreed that since all other MPs are going to be in their constituencies, the committee members should take off two weeks in a bid to talk to their voters, with a view of avoiding other MPs speaking to them about the proposed amendment,” a technical officer attached to the committee revealed.

 

The Legal Committee Vice Chairperson, Robinah Rwakoojo, also told URN that the closed door meeting had discussed areas where the committee is to visit during the consideration of the bill. She noted that they had agreed to hold one meeting in five regions in the country including Central, Western, Eastern, Northern and West Nile.

 

She also revealed that the committee resolved to bar Kyaka South MP Jackson Kafuuzi from voting on the matter before the committee. This, she explained, is because Kafuuzi seconded the proposed amendment on the floor of parliament.

 

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Rwakoojo also revealed that the meeting agreed that all committee members suppress their individual opinions during the consideration of the bill before them. Several MPs sitting on the legal committee have come out to strongly speak for and against the lifting of the presidential age limit.

 

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She further revealed that they are to have another meeting on Friday to discuss the issue of logistics among others.

  

The committee is supposed to present a report to the House on the amendment bill within 45 days according to the rules of procedure.

 

President Yoweri Museveni could become the first direct beneficiary of the proposed amendment, should the upper age cap be removed. Born in 1944, the president is not eligible for re-election in 2021 as he will be above 75 years.

 

Besides seeking the amendment of Article 102(b), Magyezi also seeks to amend Article 104(6) to increase the number of days within which the electoral commission is required to hold a fresh election where a presidential election is annulled, from twenty days to sixty days from the date of the annulment.

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