FOR THE last two weeks, debate in Parliament has focused mainly on three issues.
The issue of lifting the presidential term limit, granting the president powers to dissolve Parliament and compulsory acquisition of land for investment (which has now been dropped) have taken the centre stage. It is the proposed indefinite eligibility for a president, which has raised much debate.
As a result, three divergent views have emerged. The first is that the term limits be retained but a transitional provision be inserted to grant President Yoweri Museveni a third and last term in appreciation of his contribution. The second option is to amend the Constitution to provide for three terms. But the third proposal, which raised eyebrows in Parliament this week, was that the term limits should be retained, but become operational after the 2006 elections when Uganda goes multiparty. This would mean if the Movement chose President Museveni as its flag-bearer, he would start his first term in 2006.
Opposition leaders argue that the article has not been tested and found unsuitable.
All these views need to be looked at objectively and in a wider perspective to reach consensus. When tabling their positions, MPs should focus on national interest and abandon their hard-line party or self stand. The debate must transcend mere reporting of what they heard during consultations.
Debate has tended to drift more towards the personality of President Museveni than the merits and demerits of lifting the term-limit.
MPs have a social responsibility of making laws that promote stability. Let us remember that constitutions are for long-term benefits of society and not short-term goals.
Debate third term objectively