Episode
September 28, 2017

Is Uganda going to have a president for life?

A bill to scrap constitutional age caps on politicians puts democracy to the test.
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A proposed bill to amend Uganda’s constitution has sparked an intense debate online, tension in the streets, several brawls in the country’s parliament and a media shut-out.

Currently, the law prevents anyone over the age of 75 from running for office. But the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) is looking to amend the provision thereby securing a run for  President Yoweri Museveni to seek reelection in 2021.  Museveni is 72 years old and has been president since 1986. The NRM enjoys an overwhelming majority in the national assembly and the bill is expected to pass, despite polls showing that most Ugandans are in opposition.

Museveni has dismissed the amendment as unimportant, and he has chided other leaders who refuse to leave office in the past, but his critics say he is orchestrating this move. Several politicians have pledged to do everything they can to stop the bill - showing up in parliament sporting red bandanas and singing the national anthem to disrupt any debate on the issue. On Wednesday, more than a dozen of those politicians were arrested. MP Bobi Wine was one of those detained. He is expected to be released and joins us on The Stream.

Uganda already removed the two-term limit for the presidency in 2005, despite fierce opposition protests. So, is Youweri Museveni going to be Ugandan president for life? We take a look at the fiery conversation underway in Uganda. Join us at 1930GMT. 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Bobi Wine @HEBobiWine
Member of Parliament, Kyadondo East Uganda

John Mbaku
Professor of economics, Weber State University

Raymond Mujuni @qataharraymond
Journalist, NTV

Jackson Kafuuzi
Member of Parliament, Kyaka South

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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