Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Uganda MPs brawl over presidential age limit bill for second day

Uganda MPs brawl over presidential age limit bill for second day

In footage of the incident, politicians can be seen throwing chairs at one another and engaging in fisticuffs as the disagreements became more and more frenzied.

The evictions came after the parliamentary speaker, a member of the ruling party, accused some lawmakers of obstructing proceedings in a riotous session Tuesday during which legislators brawled over efforts to introduce legislation to remove the presidential age limit of 75 from Uganda's constitution.

Under Uganda's current laws, a person above the age of 75 can not vie for the office of president.

The hullaballoo was too much for the House speaker who, after many attempts to bring the parliament back to order and quieten the disgruntled opposition party, adjourned the session. The damage was still being assessed on Thursday, when Uganda's New Vision newspaper ran the headline, "Age limit fight leaves Parliament chambers in ruins".

The motion passed, parliament communications director Chris Obore told Reuters, adding that Magyezi would have about a month to submit the bill to a first reading in the House.

The ban, however, was viewed by critics as a deliberate blackout on opponents of the bill.

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Uganda's current constitutional laws stipulate that presidential candidates must be no older than 75.

Although Museveni warned in the past that Africa's problem was leaders "who want to overstay in power", he has since said he was speaking about leaders who were not elected.

Police and the military had also battled various demonstrators in different towns, leading to the arrest of several people.

Robert Ssempala, the national coordinator for Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, told Reuters that cracking down on live broadcasts was meant to "shut out Ugandans and keep them in the dark on the age limit debate".

Media in Uganda routinely complain of harassment by security personnel.

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