The third longest-serving ruler in Africa, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, will contest the country’s 2021 general elections following the East African Court of Justice’s ruling.
Museveni has won five presidential elections and in 2017 the Ugandan parliament dominated by NRM lawmakers, removed an age cap from the constitution, allowing him to seek another term.
A Kampala-based lawyer, Male H. Mabirizi K. Kiwanuka, asked the East African Court of Justice (EACJ)to determine whether a decision by the Constitutional Court of Uganda to extend the presidential term and age limit is against the East African Community (EAC) Treaty on democracy and good governance.
Mr Mabirizi, who is representing himself at the Arusha-based court, is seeking “interim order of injunction restraining the Government of the Republic of Uganda, from implementing any of the provisions of the Uganda Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2018.”
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ), which hears cases on violations of the rule of law from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, on Wednesday dismissed the case.
This means President Yoweri Museveni is allowed to stand for re-election.
Mabirizi had petitioned the country’s Supreme Court, which upheld the amendment, after which he took matters to the regional court.
The change in the constitution removed the requirement for anyone wishing to stand for the presidency to be aged between 35 and 75 years.
Mabirizi has also challenged the process by which the law was passed by parliament in 2017. This was marred by punch-ups on the floor of the house, and an invasion by the military special forces.
The regional court in Arusha, Tanzania, has ruled that the process through which the bill was passed did not violate the East African Community treaty.
If the court had ruled in favour of the petitioner, it would have left President Museveni’s candidature for the 2021 elections in the balance.
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