Uganda Supreme Court upholds legislation removing presidential age limit

Uganda’s Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Thursday to uphold a constitutional amendment to remove an age limit that had previously barred anyone over 75 from seeking the nation’s highest office.

Uganda’s Parliament voted to strike down the age limit in 2017, and President Yoweri Museveni, now 74, signed the amendment into law in January 2018.

The petitioners, including several opposition leaders in Parliament and the Uganda Law Society, challenged the constitutionality of the amendment, citing procedural issues and the widespread unrest that surrounded the amendment’s passage. The Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s ruling rejecting these concerns and upholding the amendment.

The dissenting justices noted that many legislators may have been pressured into approving the amendment due to the military presence within the chamber during the vote and expressed concern that the amendment did not reflect the will of the Ugandan people, who were not consulted.

This decision paves the way for Museveni to run for reelection in 2021, his thirty-sixth year in office.