Hon. Magyezi granted leave to introduce Private Member’s Bill

MMD 6735Parliament has granted leave to Hon. Raphael Magyezi to introduce a Private Member’s Bill entitled, the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Magyezi said that the object of the Bill is to amend the Constitution in accordance with Articles 259 and 262 to provide for more time within which to hold presidential, parliamentary and local government council elections.

He added that the bill also seeks to provide for eligibility requirements for a person to be elected as president or district chairperson and to increase the number of days within which to file and determine a presidential election. “The above recommendations under Article 104 were made by the Supreme Court on electoral reforms a year ago but up to today government has not brought them to the House,” Magyezi said, adding that, “We as citizens should have a right to choose who governs us regardless of their age, as long as they can serve”.

Magyezi moved the motion on Wednesday, 27th September, 2017 and was seconded by Hons Moses Balyeku (Jinja West Municipality), Jackson Kafuuzi (Kyaka South) and Doreen Amule (Amolatar District).

Balyeku added Ugandans have the right to choose the person they want without looking at age of the person.
“The Article is very discriminatory and enhances inequality. People should be free to choose who they want to lead them. If a person is old but still fit enough as considered by the doctor, then it should not be an issue for one to run for president regardless of their age,” he said.

Kafuuzi said that according to the Constitution, the State is based on democratic principles to choose whoever they want to lead them.
“The Constitution discourages age based discrimination; the right that allows an 80 year old to vote should allow a 75 year old to stand for elective office especially if they are healthy and sane,” Kafuuzi added.

Amule cited Article 4(b) that states that a Member of Parliament has the right to seek leave to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Constitution.
She added that, “Age is not a yardstick for leadership qualifications in a democratic state like Uganda. We want an accommodative and balanced Constitution and the only way we can achieve that is by supporting this Bill that Hon. Magyezi wishes to bring to Parliament.”

Hon. Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality) said MPs should respect the spirit in which this motion has been brought to Parliament
“This motion does not capture the spirit of the country; it is going to cause problems in the country because so many people out there disagree with its principles,” Ruhunda said.