Members of the Ugandan ruling party are calling for the restoration of presidential term limits, which were abolished six years ago. The issue resurfaced in a proposal from members of the ruling National Resistance Movement party (NRM), led by President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for the last 25 years.
“I think the seventh parliament made an error,” said Barnabas Tinkasimire, a member of parliament for Buyaga West and a member of NRM.
Given that some African leaders are undisciplined and power hungry, he said, “they never realize that time and age [are] catching up with them.”
Tinkasimire said the idea of a presidential term limit has a lot of support among NRM members of parliament. “This is an issue touching our electorate,” which he said thought “by giving Museveni more terms of office he would deliver, but unfortunately he has not delivered much.”
The economy has worsened, said the MP, and the population is demanding that the president serve a specific term in office. He said the people’s representatives have to go along, regardless of party affiliation.
He added that the population is impatient about a president who will have been in power for 30 years by the end of his current term, with no indication that he is leaving power.
“They would not want to see another Gadhafi thing happen in Africa,” he said in reference to the uprising in Libya.
Tinkasimire said a bill on term limits will be introduced soon. They were abolished in 2005 after the government abolished a clause in the constitutional that provided for a maximum of two five-year terms for a president, leaving Uganda as the only East African country without them.
Term limits have returned to the agenda recently following reports carried by the whistle blower website WikiLeaks that Mr. Museveni is grooming his son, Colonel Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to succeed him.