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Rugunda Explains Delayed Constitutional Review Process

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Prime Minister Rugunda admitted the failure by government to present a comprehensive Constitutional Amendment Bill but explained that the Private Members Bill tabled by Igara Wet MP Raphael Magezi captures some of the issues raised by the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

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The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, has attributed delays to set up a Constitutional Review Commission to the extensive consultations that have taken longer than expected. 

Rugunda said this while appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament on Tuesday.

The committee is conducting public hearings on the Constitutional (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017, which among others seeks to repeal article 102 (b) of the constitution that caps the president's age at 75 years.

During the hearing, Gaster Mugooya, the Bukholi North Member of parliament, tasked Rugunda to explain the government failure to constitute a Constitutional Review Commission. He said the government's failure explains their support for the Private Member's Bill tabled in parliament by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.

Muhammad Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP and other legislators wondered how government could fail to present a comprehensive Bill that covers all issues recommended by the Supreme Court in its judgment on the petition filed by  former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi contesting the 2016 presidential election results.

Rugunda admitted the failure by government to present a comprehensive Constitutional Amendment Bill, saying all the issues raised are legitimate. He, however, explained that Magezi's bill captures some of the issues raised by the Supreme Court.

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Prior to the tabling of the Constitutional (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017, commonly referred to as the "age limit bill", MPs tasked government to explain the delayed composition of a constitutional review commission.

The Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa informed parliament that she had received information from the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs indicating that they had submitted 18 names to the president for appointment to the Commission.

In 2015, Parliament passed another Constitutional Amendment Bill neglecting all proposals generated by the opposition and civil society, drawing angry reactions.