The East African Court of Justice ( EACJ ) has dismissed the presidential age limit petition filed by lawyer Male Mabirizi.
On July 14th 2020, five judges at the Arusha-based court in Tanzania, through video-link, heard the final submissions from Mabirizi and Uganda Attorney General (AG) William Byaruhanga.
According to the judgement delivered by EACJ Principal Judge Monica Mugenyi on Wednesday, the court dismissed the matter and ordered each party to bear its costs.
Court ruled that when the parliament of Uganda passes the law despite irregularities and president assents to it, it becomes binding.
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.
In 2019, 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,” the then Chief Justice Bart Katureebe declared in handing down the court’s majority 4-3 verdict.
In this case, Mabirizi challenged the actions of Parliament which amended and passed the law, the Executive (President) who assented on this bill to become a law and the Judiciary (Constitutional and Supreme Court) which upheld the amendments of Parliament
One of the grounds for his petition is that it was wrong for Ugandan courts to uphold the law which was made without following parliamentary rules of procedure, that at Supreme Court, the judgment was delayed beyond the mandatory 60 days and therefore the judgments were stale and expired.
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