Brawl breaks out in Ugandan Parliament for second day

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Scuffles broke out in Uganda’s parliament for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, with members brawling over a bill that seeks to remove the presidential age limit.

Opposition legislators oppose the bill which would allow Uganda’s long-time leader to run again, and engaged in fist fights as well as shoving matches with ruling party members, local media reported.

The speaker was forced to halt proceedings as the chaos ensued, with reports that 25 members of parliament were thrown out and some were bundled into waiting police vans.

Under Uganda’s current law, a person over 75 cannot run for president.

 

 

President Yoweri Museveni, 73, who has been in power since 1986, would not be allowed to run again at the end of his term in 2021 unless the law is changed.

The bill is still in the early stages Wednesday’s session was simply over whether the bill would be drafted at all.

It then has to be debated and go to a vote.

Despite the disturbance, parliament announced on Twitter after the session that the motion to draft the document had passed.

 

 

When finally put to the vote, the bill is expected to pass easily, as the majority of the nearly 500-member chamber belongs to the ruling party.

Embarrassed by a similar brawl on Tuesday which garnered wide media coverage at home and abroad, the government said it was suspending live radio and television coverage of parliamentary proceedings.

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