Uganda Law Society petitions court over ‘age limit’ law

Uganda Law Society petitions court over 'age limit' law
Uganda Law Society president Francis Gimara (L) with speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga recently

Uganda Law Society (ULS) has petitioned the Constitutional court challenging the recent constitutional amendment that extended the term of office for members of parliament and Local Council leaders.

ULS wants the Constitutional court to declare Article 8 and 10 of the Constitution Amendment Act 2018 unconstitutional.

In the petition, ULS contends that the amendment to extend the term of the current parliament from five to seven years is inconsistent with Articles 1, 8(a), 77(4) and 96 of the Constitution. It also notes that the extension of the term of the district councilors and local councilors is also inconsistent with Article 1, 8(a), 77(4) and 96 of the Constitution.

Article 1 vests all the powers in the people of Uganda. Article 8 (a) provides that Uganda shall be governed based on principles of national interest and common good enshrined in the national objectives and directive principles of state policy.

Article 77 (4) states that “Where there exists a state of war or a state of emergency which would prevent a normal general election from being held, parliament may, by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of all members of parliament, extend the life of parliament for a period not exceeding six months at a time.”

Article 99 provides for the dissolution of parliament and provides that “Parliament shall stand dissolved upon the expiration of its term as prescribed by article 77 of this Constitution.”

The Uganda Law Society seeks a declaration that the amendment, which by implication will require the Electoral Commission to organise separate elections for the president and members of parliament also affects Article 105(1) of the Constitution.

It provides that “A person elected President under this Constitution shall, subject to clause (3) of this article, hold office for a term of five years”. The Constitutional court is expected to invite the Attorney General to file his defense to the suite and fix a date for hearing the application.

URN