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There will be no Presidential Elections in 2021


There will be no Presidential Elections in 2021

Presidential candidates who contested the 2016 presidential elections

Presidential candidates who contested the 2016 presidential elections

Ramanthan Ggoobi, recently wrote a story under the title “Besigye Wins, Museveni rules”. This story was run many weeks even before the 18th February elections were held but the grains of truth in it have surfaced after elections.

These prophesies have a hinge on all the past elections where Besigye has been in the same boxing ring with Museveni.What is happening now is just testimony. At the time when President Museveni is popping champagne after his victory Dr. Besigye is struggling to deny the outcomes of the elections

I think it is wrong to fight symptoms instead of dealing with the real disease. The time spent fighting smoke instead of dealing with the fire that causes smoke is indeed time wasted.

There are obvious facts that do not require us to go to the laboratory to prove. It is practically impossible to win an incumbent; the Jerusalem miracles we read in the Bible cannot happen in Africa. We human beings are sometimes illogical; we kill all the caterpillars and later on complain that we no longer see butterflies. Why do we forget so fast?

Uganda’s problem was created in 2005. The day our beloved parliament lifted the presidential term limits from the constitution is the very day Mr. Museveni was given a lifeline to continue as president.

This must have been the biggest blunder a young democracy like Uganda ever made. African incumbents are only checked by term limits but not these useless state of the art elections where they lose their economic temper and extravagantly spend the tax-payers money as if it belongs to their grandfathers, all in the name of seducing voters to keep them around.

The removal of presidential term limits to give Museveni unlimited terms in power was launched in March 2003, during a Movement National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi.

This was the genesis of all the mess and the unrest we are witnessing in the elections today. By the time the MPs realized that they had urinated on their mother’s grave it was too late to appease the dead. They could not make the river flow in the reverse. Even the 5 million that had been slapped on their accounts could not return the sold integrity.

In many jurisdictions there is a defined limit on how long and how many terms of office a president may enjoy. Some jurisdictions exercise term limits, setting a maximum number of terms an individual may hold in a particular office.

In U.S.A presidents are limited to serving only two full terms in the White House under the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which reads in part: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.” This amendment was approved by Congress on March 21, 1947, during the administration of President Harry S. Truman. It was ratified by the states in 1951.

It is now clearly embedded in their constitution that “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once.” This is a danger Ugandans could not foretell. Definitely when you choose to destroy the fence around the wild life game reserve the next we can expect is to see lions at our door steps.

Eliminating or unduly extending term limits engenders corruption, the main cause of public distrust in democratic institutions, and a significant obstacle to economic development in the region. In Latin America presidents possess a disproportionate amount of influence over other branches of government. In the face of political gridlock, they can rule by decree.

They can choose and dismiss their cabinets with little or no congressional oversight and hire and fire other officials at will. In times of emergency, they can suspend basic civil rights and possess significant economic and political influence over the media.

Ugandans should expect quite a lot in this new presidential term. First of all the next presidential polls slated for 2021 will not take place because the presidential term will have been extended from five to seven years. Members of Parliament will comfortably support this motion since they will be among the primary beneficiaries.

Obvious they are expected to give malnourished excuses such as; the cost of holding elections after five years is very high for the country, other countries like Rwanda, Senegal and DRC Congo also have seven years and so on.

Another controversial development will be the removal of the presidential age limit of 75. This will allow a president to become a centenarian while still on the political saddle.




Isa Senkumba is a social critic

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