Uganda’s constitutional court yesterday approved removing the presidential age limit of 75 years, a ruling that would potentially allow President Yoweri Museveni to extend his three-decade rule. It endorsed parliament’s decision to scrap the cap in December that drew accusations from opposition parties that the 73-year-old Museveni wanted to be president for life and brought protesters onto the streets. “The removal of age limit may encourage an incumbent to wish to keep himself in office perpetually but the citizens still retain the power to either return the same president or elect a different one,” said Elizabeth Musoke, one of three judges who endorsed the amendment. One of the five judges said no, another had yet to deliver his verdict.
Museveni — whose 32-year rule of the east African country has been marked by corruption scandals, human rights violations and poor social services — has yet to say whether he intends to run in the next vote, which is due in 2021.
He is the latest in a string of African leaders who have tried to prolong their time in office. In Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, such moves have triggered instability.