Uganda Ruling Party MP Takes On Museveni Over Term Limits

There were tense moments at the opening of Uganda's ruling party retreat Saturday after a Member of Parliament confronted President Yoweri Museveni over his long stay in power, before advising him that it was time he retired.
Mr Barnabas Tinkasiimire, the representative for Buyaga West and who is known for taking bold and uncompromising positions on critical issues, told the President to his face that he should restore term limits and retire.

President Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, however sidestepped the challenge, opting not to answer the legislator directly.

Mr Tinkasiimire had accused National Resistance Movement (NRM) secretary general Amama Mbabazi of ignoring some key agenda proposals for the meeting in Kyankwanzi.

"You have left out some of the issues we proposed to you, term limits must be restored and the issue of succession must be discussed. Who is this person who doesn’t get tired? He is going to make 30 years in power,” Mr Tinkasiimire said.

There were cheers of encouragement for Mr Tinkasiimire from some of his colleagues in the background who were seen nodding in agreement, even as other members attempted to shout him off the floor.

Mr Mbabazi, who is also prime minister, raised some eyebrows when he said he had left out the issue deliberately.

"Honourable colleagues, I did not leave the issue out but I was doing a summary. It is true that one or two people made that suggestion but I left it out deliberately,” he said.

Uganda’s Constitution, which was promulgated in 1995, provides for two five-year terms for a President.

But in 2005, President Museveni, having served his two constitutional terms, had parliament change the Constitution by scrapping term limits hence giving him a third shot at office, and subsequently an unlimited timeframe to remain a contestant in any elections.
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