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Age limit Bill on Order Paper today in Parliament

By John Odyek

Added 3rd October 2017 04:26 PM

Last week Parliament composing mainly of NRM MPs and a few independent MPs, unanimously passed a motion giving permission to Raphael Magyezi (Igara West) to prepare the Bill and present it to the House.

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Last week Parliament composing mainly of NRM MPs and a few independent MPs, unanimously passed a motion giving permission to Raphael Magyezi (Igara West) to prepare the Bill and present it to the House.

The private members bill that seeks to change the presidential age limit from the Constitution will be read this afternoon in Parliament for the first time.

Last week Parliament composing mainly of NRM MPs and a few independent MPs, unanimously passed a motion giving permission to Raphael Magyezi (Igara West) to prepare the Bill and present it to the House.

This is heavy security deployment within and outside Parliament as the bill is set to be read like it was in the past few days. It is not clear what will happen in Parliament.

Last week, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended 25 MPs, mainly from the Opposition and few NRM MPs for attempting to block the tabling of the Bill.

Magyezi said it was unfortunate that some MPs had to be suspended. “Good things do not come on a silver plate,” Magyezi said.

The motion wants the Constitution amended to increase the number of days required to file a presidential elections petition from the current 10 days and to increase the number of days required to determine the petition by court from the current 30 days.

He said the period of 20 days required by the Electoral Commission to organise a presidential election in case it was annulled was too short. He wants the time required to organise a presidential election during the end of the term of a president to be increased from the last 30 days to at least 120 days.

Magyezi said he wants age limit for a presidential candidate to change to lower the entry point of 35 years to 18 years and to open the upper limit from 75 years.

He also said the law sets a limit of 30 years for persons to qualify to become district chairpersons, which he said locks out the youth. He wants the age limit reduced to 18 years to accommodate the youthful population.

Magyezi argued that if the age limit was not reduced it would block youth from becoming district chairpersons. He argued that his motion was not about giving a chance for President Yoweri Museveni to become president as in 2021 he would be 77 years.

He explained the Bill requires two thirds majority of Parliament to pass it. He noted that when the election fever picks up in the next year, getting the quorum in Parliament would be difficult.

Once the bill is tabled for first reading, it will go to the Parliamentary committee on legal and parliamentary affairs for public hearing. From there it will return to the House for debate and approval or rejection.

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