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Age Limit Ruling: Second judge quashes extension of MPs term of office

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A second judge, Lady Justice Rebecca Musoke, has also said it was illegal for members of parliament (MPs) to extend their term of office from five years to seven years.

Parliament in December passed the age limit bill and among other things it amended was its tenure of MPs in the 10th parliament and that of local councils from seven years.

However, according to Justice Musoke, who is one of the judges delivering a ruling today on the constitutional amendments in Mbale High Court, it was wrong for Members of Parliament to extend the tenure for more two years without consulting their voters.

“I therefore find section 2 and 6 of extending time of parliament and local government was inconsistent with the constitution,” she said.

She said that the article in regards extending the term of parliament is entrenched and ought to have been amended through a referendum.

“Tenets of rule of law include people deciding how they should be governed.”

Earlier, another judge, Cheborion Barishaki had also ruled against the decision to extend the tenure of parliament even as he okayed the remove of age limit clause which paves the way for president Museveni and others in the future to run for office as long as they want.

“It amounted to an attempt by parliament to override the power of the people and the same was null and void.

The judge said the act of extending parliament’s tenure from five to seven years was selfish and goes against principal of good governance.

Scores of petitioners sued the Attorney General including lawyer Male Mabirizi.

The Deputy Attorney General Mwesigye Rukutana is leading the government team in defending the state actors while scores of lawyers including Wandera Ogalo, Erias Lukwago and others represented the different petitioners.

A bench of judges are in Mbale High Court to deliver their judgement on the Constitutional Amendment Bill that removed presidential age limit as well. The Five justices of the Constitutional court led by Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, Kenneth Kakuru, Cheborion Barishaki, Elizabeth Musoke and Remy Kasule.

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