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Besigye Opposes Referendum on Age Limit

Dr.Kizza Besigye addressing journalists on Tuesday.
Dr.Kizza Besigye addressing journalists on Tuesday.

FDC and opposition strongman Dr. Kizza Besigye has Tuesday asked Ugandans to get up in arms with anyone fronting the idea of a referendum or a parliamentary debate on lifting the Presidential age limit.

Government is preparing to table the Constitution Amendment Bill 2017, which among others carries a proposal to remove the upper age-limit for presidential candidates.

Article 102 (b) of the 1995 Constitution puts the age limit for a presidential candidate at 75 years.

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Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday at Katonga road in Kampala, Besigye said president Museveni wants to use the 2 methods to ‘force his will’ onto Ugandans.

“By accepting parliament or a referendum, Ugandans are simply legitimising what is wrong, “he told journalists.

“It has been proved that those who capture power by force will create all kinds of gimmicks to portray that people are participating and consent to their stay in power. It is being manifested here.”

Addressing Parliament recently, the Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Hon Kahinda Otafiire said the Constitution is not his property but that of the people of Uganda; and neither is it a commandment of God that it cannot be altered.

“All the articles of the Constitution are up for amendment if the people of Uganda so choose,” he is quoted to have said.

The four time presidential candidate however,  warned that calling for a referendum or use of parliament to have a constitutional review will only benefit the ‘regime’ so as to hold onto power.

He reminded the people of the costly process of making the 1995 Constitution adding that tampering with it will be the last stroke in plunging Uganda into trouble.

“The remaining obstacle to Museveni’s life presidency is the age limit; we shouldn’t contribute to it.”

Asked on several individuals and group stakeholders giving recommendations to be included in the constitutional review, Besigye downplayed it as a wastage of time because the process is controlled by “those in power”.

Transition

The opposition strongman says Uganda has been under captivity and powerless since independence, calling for a transition that would see things change for better.

According to Besigye, a transition period would be used to build the state institutions which he said are dead.

“We must have sufficient coordination to claim power, work out a transitional order and have a period of reconciliation that would lead to free and fair elections,” the former FDC president said.

He asked that leaders be it religious, MPs and others should be confronted by Ugandans to demand for a transition.

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