Oulanyah calls Age Limit Debate Misguided

Posted: 2017-09-14T09:41:48Z
Oulanyah calls Age Limit Debate Misguided

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has reiterated that legislators should not discuss the Presidential Age Limit until it is officially introduced on the floor of parliament.

The deputy speaker was chairing the house on Wednesday, when he stated that discussion of things outside of the parliament is misguided and uncalled for. His statement followed Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze question, on why the National Resistance Movement (NRM) caucus endorsed a bid to Article 102(b) of the constitution through a private member's bill.

Mukono municipality MP had reminded the House that the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga had guided the house against discussing things in anticipation. She directed the MPs to stop the discussion on any amendment since its not there.

She stated that as it stands, the public is anxious on the issue, and her constituents seek answers on the reality of the proposed amendments. She questioned if Parliament had lifted the ban it had put on the debate.

Oulanyah however ruled over the matter stating that the House can only handle matters that are before it, adding that it should be on the Order Paper or those brought to the table. He says parliament is not responsible for things outside its precincts like age limit debate.

He says Parliament cannot anticipate that some thing is to come. When the Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Mugume attempted to defend Nambooze's question, the deputy speaker overruled the discussion stating that that will not be tolerated in the house.

Early this week, the NRM caucus through a consultative meeting at parliament overwhelmingly agreed to embark on the process to Amend Article 102(b) which caps the age of a person aspiring for the highest office between 35 and 75 years. At least 245 MPs now plan to table a Private Members Bill seeking to open this up. Only one MP, Kumi Woman Legislator Monica Amoding, openly opposed the move.

If it stays as it is, Article 102(b) would bar President Museveni from contesting again in 2021. Born in 1944 and in power since 1986, Museveni will turn 75 in 2019.

This is the first time that government-leaning MPs have officially come up with a position on the matter, though majority have been promoting it individually. The move evokes memories of 12 years ago when the 7th Parliament voted, on September 30, to amend Article 105 of the constitution to remove the two-term limit for the president.