The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee is today set to start scrutinising the proposed Constitutional (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2017 that seeks to among others, lift the presidential age limit.
The committee chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth was last month tasked by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to scrutinise the bill and report back to parliament.
The Private Member’s Bill tabled by Igara West Member of Parliament Raphael Magyezi proposes an amendment to Article 102(b) which caps the presidential age limits at 35 and 75 as minimum and maximum age for the holder of a presidential office.
This is a move which could make President Yoweri Museveni eligible to contest for another term of office. The 73-year-old leader would be ineligible to contest for the presidency in 2021, when his current term ends, as he will have reached 75 years.
The Bill also 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 (2) (b) 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). The Bill also seeks 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) and for related matters.
The mover of the Bill, Raphael Magyezi, is scheduled to appear first before the legal committee on Tuesday together with the Bill seconders to defend their proposals. Kyaka South MP Jackson Kafuuzi and Amolatar Woman MP Doreen Amule seconded the bill.
On the same day, the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire will led his ministry officials to appear before the committee followed later the Chairperson of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) Sylvia Nabatanzi Muwebwa.
The 23-person legal committee is dominated by the ruling NRM party with a membership of 13 legislators. The committee has six Independent members, two members of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party and two from the Democratic Party (DP).
A number its members have already revealed their positions on the proposed amendment to Article 102 (b).
Some of the members are opposed to the proposed amendment. They include Opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga, Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding, National Female Youth MP Adeke Anna Ebaju, and Kampala Central MP Muhammed Nsereko. Others are Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Seggona, Ndorwa East Wilfred Niwagaba, Kitagwenda County MP Agaba Abbas Mugisha among others.