Legal Committee in Closed Door Meeting Over ‘Age Limit' Bill

2467 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Jacob Oboth, the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairperson confirmed to URN that his committee was meeting to plan on how to go ahead with the business before them, adding that they expect to start scrutinising the bill next week.

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee is locked up in a closed door meeting to plan how to proceed with The Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017 that among others seeks to lift the presidential age limit.

 
On Wednesday, the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga referred the bill to the Committee for scrutiny.  The Committee that is chaired by the South Budama MP, Jacob Oboth is expected to interface with Raphael Magyezi, the Igara West MP, the mastermind of the bill and the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister General Kahinda Otafire among others.

 
While referring the bill to the committee, Kadaga urged the committee to give ordinary Ugandans an opportunity to present their views on the proposed amendment. According to the rules of procedure, the committee is required to present a report to the House on the bill within 45 days.

 
Rule 113 of the rules of procedure mandates the Committee to examine the Bill in detail and make inquiries in relation to it as the committee considers expedient or necessary and report to the House within 45 days from the date the Bill is referred to the Committee.

 
Jacob Oboth, the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairperson confirmed to URN that his committee was meeting to plan on how to go ahead with the business before them, adding that they expect to start scrutinising the bill next week.

 
In his memorandum, Magyezi says the bill seeks to amend the constitution to provide for the time within which to hold presidential, Parliamentary and local government council elections under article 61; eligibility requirements for a person to be elected as President or District Chairperson under articles 102(b) and 183(2Xb);; and for related matters.

 
It also seeks to increase the number of days within which to file and determine a presidential election petition under lO4(2) and (3); (d) and to increase the number of days within which the Electoral Commission is required to hold a fresh election, where a presidential election is annulled under article 104(6). 



Once approved by parliament, the bill would pave way for the amendment of Article 102(b) of the constitution, which caps the presidential age at 75.

 
President Yoweri Museveni could become the first direct beneficiary of the proposed amendment, should the upper age cap be removed. At 73, the president is not eligible for re-election in 2021 as he will be above 75 years.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.