Top court addresses term-limit issue
Publish date: 16 April 2018
Issue Number: 769
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Uganda’s Constitutional Court, sitting in the eastern city of Mbale, is hearing an opposition attempt to annul a constitutional amendment which removes presidential age limits. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, MPs last year overwhelmingly voted to scrap the age limit of 75. It meant 73-year-old President Yoweri Museveni, in power for more than 30 years, could seek re-election in 2021. BBC News reports that opposition lawyers argued that the amendment was ‘smuggled’ into law, and Parliament had not followed proper procedures when adopting it. It marks the first time a major constitutional petition is being heard in a regional city. The hearing was moved from Kampala to avoid drawing too much public attention to it. The report notes that the petitioners include opposition MPs, the Uganda Law Society and civil society groups. They say the amendment is invalid because it was passed during parliamentary sessions marred by brawls and plain-clothes security operatives assaulting and dragging MPs out of the chamber.