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Legislators throw chairs in fight over presidential age limit

Ugandan legislators on Tuesday got into a major scuffle inside parliament, shortly before a controversial motion was introduced that could extend President Yoweri Museveni’s grip on power.

Broadcaster NTV showed politicians throwing chairs and attacking each other in a fight over a plan to remove the presidential age limit of 75 years.

Outside the building, police and military were deployed to discourage demonstrations against the planned bill.

Police in riot gear also surrounded the offices of opposition parties in Kampala.

Under the current law, a person of over 75 years cannot run for president.

Museveni, 73, who has been in power since 1986, would not be eligible to compete for the highest office again at the end of his term in 2021, unless the law is changed.

The bill is expected to pass easily when voted on, as the majority of the nearly 500 member parliaments belong to the ruling party.

Tuesday’s fight inside parliament comes after almost 50 protesters, mostly students, were arrested in Kampala over the weekend, facing charges of inciting violence, assault and unlawful assembly.

Six parliamentarians, Kampala Mayor, Erias Lukwago and opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, were also arrested and released on bond.



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