Mao calls for reinstatement of presidential term limits

Politics

The Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Norbert Mao has proposed reinstatement of presidential term limits and proportional representation in Parliament among the constitutional amendments that should be considered.

Mao made the proposals on Wednesday during a high-level national stakeholders’ dialogue on constitutional reforms, organised by the National NGO Forum at Golf Course Hotel, Kampala.

It should be remembered that in 2005, Members of Parliament (MPs) overwhelmingly voted for elimination of the two-term limit for one to be President.

Addressing the media, Mao said that the removal of presidential term limits has not been well received by many Ugandans for some reasons, and that it is time this be reviewed.

“Some Ugandans want us to restore the five-year term limits twice for any elected leader. There are those who say they are so tired of politicians who lie and cling to power. They propose that we should go the Mexican way; give a longterm six or seven-year one term maximum to anybody however good you’re,” Mao said.

The Minister also proposed amendments in the election of leaders especially in the Parliament.

Mao said that considering the big size of Parliament, Uganda should adopt the idea of proportional representation to deal with ‘winner take all’ problem.

“We have got the issue of the size of Parliament. Do we need all that number? If we say an MP represents 150,000 people, then we need a formula, and that can only be proportional representation based on the electoral areas where each party will bring a list, and the list will have names of their chosen representatives out of whom they will assign sits based on the proportion and percentage of votes they win in a particular area,” he said.

He said, by end of April, he will be taking a paper to government proposing for setting up of a constitutional review committee to look through the aforementioned proposals.

”A draft is ready in the ministry. Many of the proposals are already with us. In our meetings at the ministry, we have decided that in the Constitutional Review Committee we have a secretariat in a form of Uganda Law Reform Commission,” Mao said.

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