NRM Scoffs at Opposition over Age Limit Fracas

1927 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The group led by Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa downplayed reports that the opposition scored highly by blocking a session in which a controversial bill for the amendment of Article 102 b of the constitution would have been tabled.

A group of National Resistance Movement (NRM) Members of Parliament have attacked their opposition counterparts for disrupting parliament proceedings on Thursday.

The group led by Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa downplayed reports that the opposition scored highly by blocking a session in which a controversial bill for the amendment of Article 102 (b) of the constitution would have been tabled.

The article caps the presidential age at 75. Its amendment would lift the last hurdle for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election when his term of office expires in 2021. Under the current provision, President Museveni would not be eligible to contest for the presidency after more than 30 years in power.

The proposal, sponsored as a private members bill by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi was expected to be tabled in parliament yesterday. However, the motion did not appear on the order paper. Later, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah told the house that the Speakers needed more time to understand the motion.

Oulanyah added that they couldn't allow a matter for debate in Parliament to be sneaked outside the specified procedures. But opposition legislators led by Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza demanded for the adjournment of parliament amidst chaos.  Subsequently the house was adjourned to next week.

Upon the adjournment, opposition legislators jumped up in celebration. But Nankabirwa says the opposition groups in parliament do not have a reason to jubilate yet
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"It is not yet Uhuru for those who think that a Member of Parliament should not be given an opportunity to express him or herself," Nankabirwa said.
 
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She advised though that the leader of opposition should utilize dialogue and negotiation rather than dramatizing issues on the floor of parliament adding that the NRM's numerical strength in Parliament gives the party an upper hand in legislation.

The Tenth Parliament currently has 431 legislators who are eligible to vote. 303 of these subscribe to the ruling party.
 
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Nankabirwa was accompanied by State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite, Usuk County MP Peter Ogwang, Amolatar Woman MP Doreen Amule, Alebtong Woman MP Achen Christine Ayo, Otuke County MP Julius Achon and others.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.