Ugandan strongman, Museveni says 2021 election may not hold over virus fears
London, May 12, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has given the strongest indication that presidential election in his country scheduled for early next year may not take place if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t ease
President Yoweri Museveni has said it would be “madness” to hold general elections while still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
He told the Ugandan broadcaster NBS that if the pandemic was not brought under control by July, then plans to hold the elections in early 2021 would have to be reviewed.
“It will be dangerous” he said signalling elections would only be safe to hold if the crisis is contained between June and July this year.
Last year Museveni’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement backed the 75-years-old to seek re-election in 2021 while about 24 candidates have declared an interest in challenging the president and had started grassroots meetings, though these have been put on hold because of coronavirus.
There are 122 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Uganda so far, with no deaths.
Public gatherings including political rallies have already been banned as part of social distancing measures to halt the spread of the virus.
Should Museveni contest the presidential election in 2021, he could potentially extend his tenure to 40 years.
In July 2018, a top court in Uganda ruled clearing the way for President Museveni to seek another term in office.
There was public outcry after the country’s parliament passed a resolution removing the presidential age limit.
The resolution removed the age limit of 75 years placed on presidential aspirants in Uganda. Museveni would have been disqualified from running in 2021 had the age limit remained
The 38-year-old MP and musician Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, has emerged as a strong contender to President Museveni – who has been in power since 1986.
A retired General, Henry Tumukunde, has also announced plans to challenge his former ally