Uganda. According to Countryaah.com, the National Party of National Resistance Movement (NRM) continued during the year with plans to change the constitution so that Yoweri Museveni, president since 1986, could stand for further terms. According to the constitution, a presidential candidate may be a maximum of 75 years, but Museveni will be 77 at the next presidential election, which will be held in 2021.
In July, 56 members of the opposition party Democratic Change (FDC), which is critical of constitutional changes of that kind, were arrested for participating in illegal meetings. In September, NRM MPs voted for the party to put forward a bill to erase the age limit for presidential candidates. However, the vote, which would have been held a week later, was postponed as opposition politicians managed to delay the negotiations so that the case was not heard during the day. A similar tactic was used at a later date when the six-hour debate was followed by the opposition preventing a vote by starting to sing the national anthem. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was forced to adjourn the sitting after a fight broke out in the Chamber.
In addition to the opposition, some religious leaders and even factions within the NRM were critical of an abolished age limit. At the beginning of October, the bill was tabled in Parliament during a meeting attended by few opposition politicians. That so many were missing was either because they voluntarily stayed away in protest or because they were forbidden to attend. Protests also arose in several parts of the country, including in the city of Rukungiri in southwestern Uganda, where two people died when police with tear gas and rubber bullets dispelled protesters. Two days later, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested and two other FDC representatives accused of causing the death of two protesters. They were charged a few days later for causing violence.
In December, Parliament finally voted in favor of a bill that would have abolished the age limit for presidents. At the same time, the rule limiting the number of terms to two was reintroduced, but this does not take effect until after the 202 presidential elections.
In April, the military announced that the forces sent to the Central African Republic to fight the rebel movement Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) would be taken home. According to the government, LRA leader Joseph Kony no longer posed any threat to Uganda. In June, Uganda pledged US $ 358 million in financial aid to fund the reception of refugees from the conflict-ridden neighboring South Sudan. In August, the number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda was estimated to exceed 1 million. Of them, the vast majority were women and children. In September, a campaign was launched in which nearly 6 million children would be vaccinated against polio. The measure would prevent the disease from spreading from South Sudan and Congo-Kinshasa.