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Security Blocks Presidential Term Limit Debate

Last week, about 20 Civil Society Organizations announced plans to hold a public discussion about presidential term limits at Uganda Technical College in Lira on May 26th.
Lira district security committee has blocked a conference organized by Civil Society Organizations to discuss the restoration of presidential term limits. Last week, about 20 Civil Society Organizations announced plans to hold a public discussion about presidential term limits at Uganda Technical College in Lira on May 26th. 

The conference was expected to bring together local politicians, religious leaders and residents to debate on whether or not to restore presidential term limits. But, Lira District Security committee led by the RDC Joan Akany has blocked the conference arguing that it would interfere with the immunization program that is scheduled to start on the same day. Akany has asked the organizers to reschedule their conference to a later date.

Jonathan Odur, deputy director for Facilitation for Peace and Development-FAPAD the lead convener of the conference says that the management of Uganda Technical College has declined to host function citing objection from security. He says that they have also been blocked from using Akii Bua Stadium, which is the only open ground in Lira Municipality.

Odur also says that they have rejected a proposal by the district security committee to vet participants invited for the conference saying every Ugandan has a right to freedom of speech. He noted that the issue of presidential term limit is a national issue and a constitutional matter.

Daniel Okello, Coordinator Lira NGO forum says the district security committee is demanding to be involved in the preparation of the conference since they are fore seeing violence. He says that they agreed to call off the conference since immunization takes priority but promised to hold it on a later date.

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