Sunday, August 24, 2003

Uganda: cabinet supports scrapping presidential term limit

Uganda's Monitor newspaper reports that cabinet has endorsed scrapping the two-term limit for the president ... and has endorsed a federal system of governance. The newspaper says confirmation of the news came from the National Political Commissar, Dr Crispus Kiyonga.

Under the constitution, the president is allowed two, five-year terms. President Yoweri Museveni's second term is due to end in 2006.

As for federalism, the Buganda Kingdom has been agitating for federalism for over a decade.

But these changes aren't welcomed by everybody.
Debate on whether Museveni should be allowed to run again in 2006 divided the ruling group with a number of senior members of the government speaking out publicly against it.

Museveni responded by purging those critical of the attempt to have him have another go at the presidency in 2006.
According to this Monitor article, during cabinet discussions this past month
... ministers who are opposed to both the third term and federo [federal system] chose to boycott the Cabinet meeting when Museveni appeared the following day.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ms Janat Mukwaya said that a bill to amend the Constitution would be in Parliament before the end of the year.

A fascinating aside about Ugandan politics ... Uganda is a "no party" state. Political parties are allowed to exist, but not organize. Candidates essentially stand as independents. A few years ago, this issue was put to a referendum and people voted to keep the "no party" system. Here is an article which will give you more BG.