Parties agree on issues to be determined as consolidated age limit case hearing kicks off

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

Parties involved in the age limit petition have laid down 13 issues that they want addressed as the case hearing starts today in Mbale.

Hearing of five petitions which were subsequently consolidated into one will kick off today in Mbale and to be heard by a panel of five judges of the Constitutional Court led by the Deputy Chief justice in which five groups are challenging the lifting of the age limit by parliament last year.

According to a document seen by the Nile Post, the parties will be seeking court to address the issue whether tabling of the Constitutional bill number two of 2017 in the absence of the Leader of Opposition ,Chief Whip and other opposition members of parliament was not in contravention of the constitution.

On December 18,2017, a section of opposition legislators led by the Leader of Opposition, Winnie Kizza stormed out of the August house in protest against Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s decision to suspend some of their colleagues including Allan Ssewanyana, Ssemujju Nganda, Jonathan Odur , Gerald Karuhanga Mubarak Munyagwa and Anthony Akol.

The court is expected to determine whether the private members bill tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi constitutional.

The Constitutional court will also be tasked to decide whether actions of the security forces led by the army and police that included entering of parliament and the alleged assault on legislators was not in contravention of the law.

The parties in the case will also be arguing in regards to the process leading to the passing of bill into law including conceptualizing, consulting, debating and enacting of the act and the legality of the entire process.

The petitioners argue that the entire process was marred by violence and illegalities, a thing they want to court to pronounce itself about.

On referendum, the court is expected to decide whether it was right for parliament to lift the age limit from the constitution without carrying out a referendum.

According to some of the petitioners, there out to have been a referendum for all members of the public to participate in the process of changing the constitution.

The petitioners are also seeking court to pronounce itself on the extension of the terms of office for local governments and Members of Parliament from five to seven years is unconstitutional.

The court will also be mandated to determine whether harmonizing of the seven year term of parliament with the presidential term was not in contravention of the constitution.

Five petitions were filed by the Uganda Law Society (ULS), six opposition MPs , lawyer, Male Mabirizi, Dr.Abed Bwanika and Prosper Busingye,a concerned citizen from Western Uganda against the passing of the age limit bill last year.

Parliament on December 20 passed the age limit bill before being signed into law by President Museveni seven days later to allow lifting of the cap on the lower and upper age limit from 35 and 75 respectively.

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