Age limit was legal, term limits good-justice Barishaka

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Justice Cheborion Barishaki has ruled that the re-introduction of presidential term limits into the Constitution was good and that the age limit bill was legal and constitutional.

Delivering his judgement at the Mbale based constitutional court on Thursday, Barishaka said he finds this [term limits] a good clause to have in the Constitution given the history of the country.

He said parliament can introduce an entrenched clause into the Constitution.

Barishaka says the argument by the petitioners that amendment of presidential age limits usurped the sovereignty of the people is not tenable.

“There was a bill, there was debate, there was consultation,” he argued, adding,” age Limit amendment was legal and constitutional”.

He said in enacting Articles 3 and 7 of the amendment act, parliament acted legally and “I hold that the two articles are constitutional”.

“The argument by the petitioners that amendment of presidential age limits violated people’s sovereignty not tenable. There was a bill, there was debate, and there was consultation.”

Justice Barishaki argues that Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) whole voting said he had traversed the country from east to west, north to south and got views.

Barishaka disagrees with Age Limit petitioners that a private member’s bill shouldn’t receive any government financial help.

He said the Shs 29m MPs facilitation didn’t occasion any charge on consolidated fund but additional amendments did as would’ve called for a referendum.

“the constitution must serve the people and not the other way round. Constitution’s role is to uphold and respect the will of the people. Constitution must be beyond the reach temporary excitement & popular passion of majority for quick & routine amendments.”

Barishaka quashed petitioner Male Hassan Mabirizi Kiwanuka’s submission that public was denied access to parliament during Age Limit debate.

“No evidence was provided,” he says.

On suspension of 6 MPs from parliament, Justice Barishaka says speaker acted within her mandate to suspend the disruptive MPs.

“Without internal mechanism and control the assembly would be impotent.”

He said prevailing circumstances in the country must be taken into consideration.

“Court can’t ignore the challenge of space in parliament. Not closing doors wasn’t of most fundamental nature to render the amendment of the Act unconstitutional.”

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