Uganda's top court upholds ruling to remove presidential age caps

Thursday April 18 2019

Judges of the Supreme Court of Uganda before

Judges of the Supreme Court of Uganda before presiding over the age limit appeal case in Kampala on April 18, 2019. PHOTO | MORGAN MBABAZI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Uganda's top court Thursday upheld a decision to scrap presidential age limits, paving the way for the country's 74-year-old leader, Yoweri Museveni, to seek a sixth term in office.

The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge by Museveni's opponents, who had appealed against a ruling by the constitutional court that removed an age cap of 75 for presidential contenders.

"This appeal therefore fails," Chief Justice Bart Katureebe declared in handing down the court's majority 4-3 verdict.

In December 2017, a bill was signed to abolish age limits for presidential candidates, allowing Museveni -- who has ruled since 1986 -- to seek re-election in polls due in 2021.

That decision sparked protests and an outcry from the opposition, which accused the president of seeking to rule for life.