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Uganda's Ruling-Party MPs Back Country's Aging Leader for Another Term


FILE - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni attends an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 28, 2018.

Members of parliament from Uganda's ruling party are backing President Yoweri Museveni's attempt to win another term, according to a resolution adopted at their ongoing meeting late Sunday.

A victory at the next election, in 2021, could extend the 74-year-old Museveni's rule to 40 years, one of the longest reigns in Africa.

A key committee of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) also resolved last month to back Museveni for another term. The party's delegates will make their final decision at a conference due at the end of this year.

By securing the support of members of parliament, an important segment of his party's delegates, Museveni came closer to securing the party's nomination.

The NRM lawmakers agreed to "strongly recommend to the membership of the NRM, our national leadership organs, the continuation in leadership of both state and party up to 2021 and beyond - our beloved leader, General Yoweri K. Museveni.

This can not be the point to let go of our visionary and unifier."

Museveni's government has changed Uganda's constitution twice to allow him to extend his rule. In 2005, it removed a two-term limit on the presidency. Twelve years later, it voted to scrap an age limit of 75. The cap would have made Museveni ineligible to stand at the next election.

Museveni has himself not said whether he intends to stand, although he is widely expected to.

If he seeks re-election, he is likely to face competition from Robert Kyagulanyi, a popular musician turned lawmaker who also goes by the stage name Bobi Wine.

Kyagulanyi has gained strong support since he joined parliament in 2017, attracting backers withy his bold criticism of government excesses, sometimes delivering them in his lyrics.

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