Fistfights Erupt as Uganda Lawmakers Debate President Age LimitBy
Fistfights erupted in the Ugandan parliament for a second day as lawmakers discussed a proposal to introduce a constitutional amendment that would allow President Yoweri Museveni to try to extend his three-decade rule.
The proposal to introduce the bill was adopted after the speaker ordered the eviction of 24 opposition legislators who attempted to block the discussion, the Kampala-based parliament said on its Twitter account. Wednesday’s violence started when the suspended lawmakers were dragged out by security agents, the Daily Monitor newspaper reported. A government minister was also told to leave after he entered the legislature with a firearm on Tuesday, it said.
The ruling National Resistance Movement is backing the removal of a clause in the constitution that sets an age limit of 75 for presidential candidates. Such a change, which needs to be debated and passed by lawmakers, would allow Museveni, 73, to run for re-election.
Museveni is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders alongside Teodero Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, Paul Biya of Cameroon and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Uganda abolished a limit of two five-year terms in 2005, allowing Museveni, who first took power as a guerrilla leader, to prolong his rule. He won a disputed election in 2016, with the next vote due in 2021.