Uganda ruling party declares Museveni, 73, as candidate for next elections

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has endorsed President Yoweri Museveni as the sole candidate for the upcoming 2021 elections.

Through its supreme organ the Central Executive Committee, the ruling political party in Uganda said it had reached the decision after a five-day retreat.

“To emphatically recommend to the membership of the Movement and its organs that Yoweri Museveni, our leader and General of the African resistance, continues leading the Movement in 2021 and beyond as we eliminate the bottlenecks ‘to transformation,” a resolution issued after the retreat at Chobe Safari Lodge in northwest Uganda reads.

This means that Museveni who has been in power for 33 years, will be seeking a sixth term in office.

Confirming the issued resolution, Mr Rogers Mulindwa, a spokesman for the ruling party’s secretariat seconded the decision by CEC.

“There is no law breached. This matter can continue to be sold to other party members as we get closer to the National Delegates Conference in November this year,” he said.

With the next general elections two years away, Museveni will be 76 years old at the time he runs again for office.

The announcement is likely to spark controversy because of the deep divisions in Uganda over a 2017 change to the country’s constitutional age limit for candidates.

In September 2018, a group of Ugandan MPs petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that upheld a constitutional amendment allowing Museveni to seek re-election.

The move to amend the constitution last year drew widespread opposition and violent protests. Fistfights broke out in the legislative chamber on two occasions.

The Ugandan Parliament then voted overwhelmingly to scrap an age limit of 75 for presidential candidates.

There were claims that lawmakers had been bribed before the vote and that insufficient public consultations had been held.

Additional reporting from Reuters, agencies

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