Tuesday May 27 2014

Debate on presidential term limits should begin, says Otafiire


Kampala- A day after the Daily Monitor published an opinion poll story showing the majority of Ugandans want presidential term limits reinstated, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire said the debate for restoration of term limits should begin.

Speaking at the sidelines of a training on intellectual property rights in the global economy for the least developed countries in Kampala yesterday, Maj Gen Otafiire said if the debates on term limits gather momentum and become the wish of the majority, it will be granted.
“These are people’s opinions but let us share and debate it and also have the country debate it as well. If that is what the population wants their wishes will be granted. This is a democracy,” he said.

“Everything that takes place in a democracy is important. We had one experience and now people may want another experience and may also want to go back to some of these other experiences. Everything has got its own time,” the minister added.
According to a survey commissioned by this newspaper and the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform, 77 per cent of Ugandans want presidential term limits returned.

Parliament voted to scrap presidential term limits from the Constitution in 2005, just one year before President Museveni was to see his second and last elective term as President.

Earlier Mr Richard Todwong, the Minister without Portfolio in charge of Mobilisation, said NRM would respect the call if it had the backing of majority Ugandans.

But political analyst Godber Tumushabe said Mr Todwong was skewing the facts.
“Right from the commencement of the 1995 Constitution to the Ssempebwa Commission, Ugandans generally agreed that there should be term limits. It is only the people in the in the NRM political class that have dissenting voices on the issue of term limits,” Mr Tumushabe said.