Lawmakers fight in Uganda parliament for second day over presidential age limit

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 27, 2017 9:48 AM

By Elias Biryabarema and James Akena

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Fighting broke out in Uganda's parliament for a second day between lawmakers pushing for a change in laws to remove age limits for presidential candidates and those opposing it, a Reuters witness said.

The Reuters journalist who was present in parliament said he saw microphone stands being used as weapons, and at least two female lawmakers being carried out after collapsing. People exchanged blows and kicks after security personnel were called in to remove lawmakers who had been ordered out of the chambers.

At least 25 MPs opposed to the legislative move had been ordered by the speaker to vacate the chambers after being suspended for involvement in fighting on Tuesday.

Under the existing constitution, eligibility to stand as a presidential candidate has an age ceiling of 75 years. That makes Museveni, 73, in power for more than three decades, unqualified to seek re-election at the next polls in 2021. Removing the age cap would clear that hurdle.

The proposal to change the constitution has met widespread opposition from rights activists, the political opposition, religious leaders and from some members of Museveni's own ruling party.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by George Obulutsa and Mark Heinrich)