Court gives Museveni green light to run in Uganda’s 2021 elections

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THE East African Court of Justice (EACJ) on Wednesday paved the way for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, 76, to contest next year’s election.

Should he win he will have been in power for 39 years.

Based in Tanzania, the EACJ’s three-judge panel was led by Justice Monica Mugenyi and unanimously ruled that violence did not detract from the legitimacy of Uganda’s constitutional amendment which removed the presidential age limit of 75.

In addition, the removal of the presidential age limit did not violate the East African Community (EAC) Treaty, The Citizen newspaper reports.

Last year, Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka brought the case before the EACJ after Uganda’s Supreme Court upheld the removal of an age limit for presidents, according to the BBC.

In February this year, the EACJ allowed the challenge to proceed in its court. Although a number of Ugandan lawyers sought to dismiss it, the EACJ stated at the time that the case was within its jurisdiction, The East African newspaper reports.

Before Uganda amended its constitution in 2017, a presidential candidate was required to be between 35 and 75 years old.

On Thursday, the International Day of Older Persons, Museveni delivered an address to celebrate Uganda’s senior citizens. He took the opportunity to unveil the country’s first grant for older people, in addition to canvassing support for his political party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), ahead of next year’s election.

‘The NRM government has put in place social protection programmes which target older persons. For the first time in the history of Uganda, we have a grant for older persons,’ Museveni said.

According to Uganda’s Electoral Commission, an exact date for 2021’s election is yet to be decided but the marked-out period is from January 10 to February 8.

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