KAMPALA– Members of Parliament (MPs) from the ruling National Resistance Movement party are putting up final touches to a new motion in which they want to extend their tenure from five years to seven years, PML Daily has learnt.
In July, the Constitutional Court led by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo trashed the extention of the MPs’ tenure to 7 years during the ruling on the Constitution Amendment Bill that upheld the removal of the presidential age limit from the Constitution.
However, this website has learnt that the MPs want to renew the push for the seven-year term once the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) is appointed. The CRC is one of the recommendations by the Constitutional Court to consider the proposed electoral reforms ahead of 2021. It had been proposed before 2016 elections but did not take place.
However, government is in the final stages of instituting the Commission and the legislators want to use this opportunity to front their seven-year proposal.
“The Constitutional Court said we used a wrong approach to pass that amendment but once CRC is appointed, we intend to pursue it more because a five-year term will not help Uganda to develop,” said a source within NRM.
Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa was not immediately available to comment on the matter and neither was Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, who led the government team in defending the Constitution Amendment Bill in the Mbale court.
However, shortly after the court ruling in July, President Museveni, who is the ruling party chairman, blasted the Constitutional Court on the ruling, insisting that the five-year term for an MP is not enough.
“With the five years, a lot of time is spent on electioneering and less time on development: the first two years settling in, the third year some work in the constituency and then, by the fourth year, the electioneering again,” the President said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, our judges spend more time on form and not substance. In the end, however, judges are not the ones in charge of the country. If the NRM MPs follow my guidelines and bond closely with the people, we can, together with the people, make the necessary Constitutional reforms, judges or no judges,” he added.