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Museveni Will Not Impose Himself on EAC - EALA Speaker :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Museveni Will Not Impose Himself on EAC - EALA Speaker

The decision to stay or amend the current open presidential term system in Uganda will remain the responsibility of the people of Uganda and their parliament, according to the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly – EALA, Abdirahin Abdi.

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The decision to stay or amend the current open presidential term system in Uganda will remain the responsibility of the people of Uganda and their parliament, according to the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly – EALA, Abdirahin Abdi.

Abdi says he thinks that the push to have a uniform term limit across all the East African Community member states is brought by enemies who don’t wish the community success. He says that the push would not distract him and his members from moving ahead. 

The EALA Speaker was on Monday responding to several questions put to him by Ugandan journalists during a press conference at Parliament in Kampala. Scribes asked him what the role of the regional parliament would be in the debate over whether Uganda, with an open presidential term system, is not at variance with the democratic values of the kind practiced in neighboring countries like Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, who have term limits entrenched in their national constitutions.

Abdi insisted that it is the responsibility of the Ugandan parliament in this case, to stay with their open presidential term or close it.

In what appeared like a re-assurance to other nationals on the progress of the regional political federation, Abdi said that Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni would not impose anybody on the member countries if the time came for a single president to be elected to head the political federation. He said that after all, all candidates interested would present themselves for election to the position and be voted for on merit.

He says that if Museveni as a sitting president of Uganda shows interest in the East African position, he will be judged on his own merit, which he also described as a blessing for the region. Abdi noted that every politician has ambitions that should be respected as long as those ambitions are backed by respect of values of human rights and democracy.

The question of term limits has always remained a sticking issue since 2005 when the NRM, through its majority numbers in parliament, removed the system.

Last week, some NRM MPs, during the party caucus retreat in Kyankwanzi, told President Museveni, that he should allow debate on restoring the term limits to start. Museveni in response told the legislators that restoring term limits was not the issue but whether or not voters have rights to a fair vote of their president during an election.

During the press conference, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Musa Sirma said that the process to bring on board South Sudan to the community is in its final stages. He said they may be given a National Observer Status in the next two months, a final stage to joining.

The regional parliament is currently in Kampala where it will hold two weeks of plenary debates to deliberate on laws and policies for the region.

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